California based Fintech firm Wealthfront announced on December 8, 2020, that banking industry professionals Sheila Bair and Tom Curry are joining the firm’s Banking Advisory Group.
The Committee is expected to play a key role in navigating regulatory and partnership efforts as Wealthfront plans to move deeper into the banking ecosystem so it can offer a “nextgen” banking service.
Wealthfront CEO Andy Rachleff noted that his firm couldn’t have asked for “a more distinguished duo to kick off the formation of our Banking Advisory Group.”
“Sheila’s and Tom’s combined experience in the banking industry will be invaluable to Wealthfront as we continue our efforts to rebuild a new, better way to bank that makes money with the client — not from them.”
As confirmed in a release shared with Crowdfund Insider, Bair has had a distinguished career in government, academia, and finance. She’s best known as Chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) from 2006 to 2011, when she led the agency through a major financial crisis.
In 2012, Bair had published a NY Times bestseller titled “Bull by the Horns,” which went over how she navigated the global financial crisis. Bair is notably the founding director of the Volcker Alliance, which has been launched by former Federal Reserve Board Chair Paul Volcker to develop “trust” in government. She’s also the founding chair of the Systemic Risk Council, which supports financial stability initiatives.
“Wealthfront has been a leading innovator in the financial services industry and I am excited to join their efforts to build a better financial system. I love the way the team thinks outside the box to deliver more long-term value to the client, and the opportunity ahead of them in banking is enormous. Technology has huge potential to lower costs and improve services for the banking public. I couldn’t be more excited to help Wealthfront create long overdue change.”
As noted in the announcement, Curry is a partner in Nutter’s Corporate and Transactions Department and he’s also the co-leader of the company’s Banking and Financial Services group. Curry is a regulatory attorney who regularly advises clients on policy, financial services regulation, governance, and various other issues.
Before he joined Nutter, Curry had been nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) back in 2012. As Comptroller of the Currency, Curry was responsible for leading the U.S. federal agency that charters, regulates, and supervises national banks and federal savings banks.
Curry served as the U.S. Comptroller of the Currency until mid-2017. As Comptroller, he helped with introducing the OCC’s Responsible Innovation Initiative. He also proposed the Fintech national bank charter, and set up the OCC Office of Innovation, which is reportedly a first among federal financial regulators.
Curry has also previously served as a member of the Board of Directors of the FDIC. He had been nominated by US President George W. Bush and also confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2003. Curry served on the FDIC Board until May 2017.
“I admire the way Wealthfront has worked closely with their regulators to develop innovative products and services that put more money into clients’ hands. They are an industry leader who is truly focused on building a better banking system. Wealthfront’s use of technology and complete focus on the client are a welcome innovation and I am thrilled to join in their efforts.”