Richard Berner to Help Treasury Build Financial Research Office

April 25 (Bloomberg) -- Richard Berner, the former chief U.S. economist for Morgan Stanley, is joining the Treasury Department to help build the new Office of Financial Research.

Berner will be a counselor to Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, department spokesman Steve Adamske said today in an e-mail. He replaces Lewis Alexander, who left the Treasury in February after working on setting up the research office, which was created to help regulators prevent a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis.

Berner, who was with New York-based Morgan Stanley for 12 years, previously worked at Mellon Bank, Morgan Guaranty Trust Co., Salomon Brothers and the Federal Reserve.

The Office of Financial Research will collect and analyze data to help the Financial Stability Oversight Council, a group of regulators, decide which companies are systemically important and warrant Fed supervision. A permanent director for the research office hasn’t been named.

Berner’s move to the Treasury was reported earlier by the Wall Street Journal.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ian Katz in Washington at ikatz2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Wellisz at cwellisz@bloomberg.net