Former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner joins private equity firm
WASHINGTON -- Former Secretary of the Treasury Timothy F. Geithner is becoming a financial industry executive, taking a high-level job with the private-equity firm Warburg Pincus, the firm announced Saturday.
Geithner, who was a major player in the federal government’s response to the 2008 financial crisis and the Obama administration’s formulation of economic policy, will become a managing director of the company and a member of its executive management group, Warburg Pincus said.
Geithner, who stepped down as Treasury secretary in January, is a distinguished fellow at the Council of Foreign Relations and has been writing a behind-the-scenes book about the financial crisis. He will join Warburg Pincus full time in March.
“He brings a history of strong leadership, a deep understanding of economies and markets, and a truly global perspective,” said Co-Chief Executive Charles R. Kaye. “These attributes will be of tremendous value to our firm in this increasingly interconnected world.”
New York-based Warburg Pincus manages about $35 billion in assets and has offices around the world.
“Warburg Pincus has an excellent record of performance, a very compelling global strategy and an ethical reputation of the highest regard,” Geithner said. “I look forward to working with my new colleagues and to contributing to the firm’s continued growth and success.”
Geithner told the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the move, that Warburg Pincus executives approached him and “clearly wanted me to play a substantive role in helping manage the firm.”
Its global reach was an attraction to Geithner, who has spent much of his career focused on international issues. His father was an international development official with the U.S. government and he spent much of his childhood abroad.
Through a spokeswoman, Geithner declined additional comment Saturday.
The 52-year-old Geithner served as Treasury secretary from 2009 until just days after President Obama was inaugurated for his second term. One of the president’s most trusted advisors, Geithner was the only member of Obama’s original economic team who stayed for the entire first term.
Before joining the Obama administration, Geithner had been president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York since 2003.
In that position, he joined with Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson in leading the federal government’s response to the 2008 financial crisis, including the controversial decisions to allow the failure of Lehman Bros., rescue American International Group and push Congress to create the $700-billion bailout fund.
The crisis experience was a key factor in Obama selecting Geithner as one of his first Cabinet choices. As Treasury secretary, Geithner was involved in all the administration’s major economic policy decisions and oversaw the Troubled Asset Relief Program bailout fund.
There was a misperception throughout Geithner’s tenure as Treasury secretary that he had been a financial industry executive before joining the government and he was often criticized as being too soft on Wall Street firms.
But Geithner worked in the private sector only briefly after graduating from Dartmouth College and Johns Hopkins University. He joined the Treasury Department in 1988, rising to undersecretary for international affairs from 1999 to 2001 before moving to the International Monetary Fund and then the New York Fed.
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