U.S. Appoints Greenwald, Miller to Ally Financial Board

Ally Financial Inc., the auto lender 74 percent owned by U.S. taxpayers, added Henry S. Miller and Gerald Greenwald to its board after the Treasury Department exercised its right to name two directors.

“These two individuals will make a valuable contribution to the board as Ally moves forward on its continued efforts to repay taxpayers and support the auto-industry recovery,” Treasury Assistant Secretary Tim Massad said today in a statement. Six of the board’s 11 members represent taxpayers, Matt Anderson, a department spokesman, said in an e-mail.

Ally Chief Executive Officer Michael Carpenter is searching for ways to repay U.S. bailouts exceeding $17 billion and pare the government’s stake. Carpenter, 65, has bristled at Treasury oversight and rebuffed a department proposal that someone else be named to focus on the Detroit-based company’s turnaround efforts, three people familiar with the talks said in February.

Greenwald, 76, founded private-equity firm Greenbriar Equity Group and previously was chairman and CEO of United Airlines parent UAL Corp., and vice chairman at Chrysler Corp. Miller, 67, co-founded turnaround advisory firm Miller Buckfire & Co. and is chairman of Marblegate Asset Management LLC. He’s also on the board of New York-based American International Group Inc., the bailed-out insurer majority-owned by the U.S.

‘Key Perspectives’

“They bring extensive experience from both the financial and auto sectors and will add key perspectives as Ally continues its transformation,” Ally Chairman Franklin Hobbs said in a separate statement.

Miller and Greenwald join Kim Fennebresque, Robert Blakely, Marjorie Magner and John Durrett as Treasury’s representatives on the board.

Carpenter has refocused his firm on auto lending and online banking after the May bankruptcy of the Residential Capital mortgage unit. He’s seeking to divest more than $30 billion of assets in Canada, Mexico, Europe and Latin America that, once completed, may allow the company to repay two-thirds of the bailout, Carpenter said in a May interview.

“Our objective in life is pretty straightforward,” Carpenter said during an Aug. 1 conference call. “It’s to continue building the auto business, to continue to build the bank, and it’s to get the U.S. government completely out of their shareowner position.”

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