Bies and Ruffle inducted into FEI's Hall of Fame.
Bies is a former member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve; Ruffle is a former vice chairman and director of J.P. Morgan & Co. and Morgan Guaranty Trust Co. of New York.
The FEI Hall of Fame, a fundraiser for Financial Executives Research Foundation, began in 2006 as a career history of strong leadership ethics and innovation--values that have been critical to FEI since its founding in 1931.
More than 200 guests attending the black-tie event enjoyed a cocktail reception on the trading floor of the famed exchange, and then moved to the main dining room for dinner and the induction ceremony.
Bob Pisani, CNBC's "On-Air Stocks" editor, served as master of ceremonies for the induction.
You are all leaders, and that is why you are here," Pisani said, welcoming the audience "You are privileged to be here."
Pisani introduced Frank Brod, corporate vice president Finance and Administration and chief accounting officer for Microsoft. Brod said that Microsoft was founded on the principle of innovation. "We all need to be innovative and positive," he added.
Following dinner, Pisani introduced U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox, who presented Bies.
Cox lauded Bies as a powerful choice for the Hall of Fame, because of her integrity and responsibility. He recounted when the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 was enacted, there was a disagreement between the Federal Reserve and the SEC over how the new law should be implemented. Bies, he said, led monthly meetings for a year to build consensus and resolve the issue. "Today, bankers, investors and markets are all better off," Cox said. "Everyone here tonight owes you a debt of gratitude, he told Bies."
Bies thanked FEI for inducting her into the Hall of Fame. "FEI was important to me in achievinq what I have in my career," she said. "Many things lately are extreme forms of what we've experienced before," she said, referring to the current financial market turbulence. "Unfortunately, many of us forgot to pass those lessons on to those who succeeded us."
She asked the audience to work on developing young financial talent. "Your jobs require integrity and leadership," Bies addes.
Ruffle was presented by Benjamin R. Civiletti, Esq., senior partner at Venable, LLP, and former U.S. Attorney General. "I have known Jack for over 50 years, as both a classmate and a friend," Civiletti said. "He is as straight as a ruler, with unhesitating courage."
Ruffle said that the award was an honor and that he "feels humbled being recognized by my peers." He then recalled a speech he had given at the University of Chicago in February 1989, in which he called for a greater understanding of the globalization of business. He also voiced concerns about the securitization of bank debt. "I was worried about this in 1989, and I shared my concerns with our CEO."
The CEO asked him to investigate how the bank managed risk. Ruffle said he asked a math Ph.D. to tutor him, and he then drafted a report for the CEO. "We instituted changes," Ruffle noted. "We developed a new financial-product review process, in which we asked two questions: 'Did it make sense for the customer? Could we manage the risk?'"
Ruffle explained that many of today's problems are due to a lack of focus on risk. "I was controller at J.P. Morgan for 10 years, CFO for five years and then a member of top management. I worked for five CEOs. They all wanted to control risk, and they always wanted to hear what I said."
RELATED ARTICLE: FEI Hall of Fame Sponsors
Zurich Financial Services
Silver Sponsor Deloitte LLC
Amper, Politziner & Mattia
E * Trade Financial
FEI Connecticut/Westchester Chapter
FEI New Jersey Chapter
FEI New York City Chapter
General Electric Company
J.H. Cohn LLP
JPMorgan Funds Management Inc.
Parsons Brinckerhoff Inc.
Robert Half Management Resources
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|Title Annotation:||Financial Executives International; Susan Schmidt Bies and John F. Ruffle|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2009|
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