• Gregory Baer named president of Clearing House Association
  • Group has challenged regulators on capital, derivatives rules

JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s head of regulatory policy is leaving the bank to run one of the major Wall Street lobbying groups.

Gregory Baer will join the Clearing House Association Oct. 5 as its new president, the group said in a statement Friday. The Clearing House is best known for providing the legal underpinnings for banking industry challenges to key rules issued by the Federal Reserve, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and other agencies.

“Greg is a seasoned industry executive with deep regulatory policy skills,” Brian Moynihan, chief executive officer of Bank of America Corp. and chairman of the Clearing House’s supervisory board, said in the statement. “He will be a strong leader.”

The lobbying arm, along with an affiliated business that processes payments, is owned by two dozen of the world’s largest lenders, including JPMorgan. The group has spent recent years working on issues arising from the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act and fighting sweeping new capital standards imposed on banks by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.

The Clearing House’s comment letters to regulators, while often dry and filled with legalese, have helped Wall Street win victories worth billions of dollars. They include persuading the Fed to raise a proposed cap on debit-card swipe fees and helping the industry ease government constraints on derivatives.

Saltzman’s Departure

Baer, 53, is set to take over as the chief of the regulatory side of the Clearing House and will be the top lawyer in its payments company, according to the statement. His predecessor Paul Saltzman left the association in March to join Deutsche Bank AG. The German bank brought him on to oversee its handling of stress tests by the Federal Reserve after it’s U.S. unit failed the exam earlier this year.

Saltzman earned $656,300 from the association arm of the Clearing House in 2013, according to its tax forms. The amount of compensation he received from the group’s payments company isn’t publicly disclosed.

A longtime banking attorney, Baer worked at Bank of America before joining JPMorgan in 2010. Well known in Democratic circles, he was an assistant secretary at the Treasury Department during the Clinton administration. Baer graduated in 1987 from Harvard Law School, where he was managing editor of the Harvard Law Review. Baer is also the author of two books, including one on mutual funds that he wrote with Gary Gensler, the former Commodity Futures Trading Commission chairman.

As a former policy maker, Baer said he relied on the Clearing House’s “thoughtful and credible analysis of the most difficult regulatory issues.”
He said he will “strive to maintain that tradition,” according to the statement.

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