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Former OCC Chief Counsel Williams Joins Consulting Firm

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Jan. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Julie Williams, a longtime federal regulator who helped banks argue against state oversight, is joining Promontory Financial Group LLC, a Washington-based consulting firm that advises financial-services companies.

Williams stepped down Sept. 30 as chief counsel with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency after 19 years with the agency including two stints as acting comptroller. She will become a managing director and director of advisory practice at Promontory, which is led by former Comptroller of the Currency Eugene Ludwig.

“Almost 20 years ago, I asked Julie to be Chief Counsel at the OCC, and it was clearly one of the wisest decisions I made as Comptroller,” Ludwig said today in a memo to staff. “Julie has been at the center of virtually every important bank-regulatory development in the past 20 years, and it is difficult to overstate her contributions to the agency and its culture.”

While at the OCC, the Treasury Department bureau that supervises national banks and savings associations, Williams backed lenders’ arguments that efforts by states to impose separate oversight were preempted by federal rules.

“Promontory’s role is broader and has more facets to it than legal interpretation, and that was appealing to me,” Williams said today in an interview. “The financial services firms are facing incredible challenges, and so being in a position at Promontory where I can help provide a holistic approach to problem-solving was appealing to me.”

Before joining the agency, she worked for the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, the Office of Thrift Supervision and as a Washington attorney with a predecessor of law firm Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP.

To contact the reporters on this story: Cheyenne Hopkins at;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Maura Reynolds at

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