Obama picks private-equity figure for key U.S. Treasury post

July 22, 2009

By Patrick Rucker
WASHINGTON, July 22 (Reuters) – Jeffrey Goldstein, an executive at a New York private equity firm, has been tapped as President Barack Obama’s choice for Treasury undersecretary for domestic finance, two officials said on Wednesday.
Goldstein, a managing director of Hellman & Friedman LLC, served as a managing director of the World Bank from 1999 to 2004. His formal appointment to the Treasury post could come as soon as Wednesday, one official said. He then must face a confirmation hearing and win approval by a vote in the Senate.
The undersecretary for domestic finance is a key role and is often a Wall Street go-between on major policy issues.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has had trouble filling the post, vacant since President Obama took office in January.
In late March, Obama said some of his choices for Treasury posts turned him down because of an “onerous” vetting process.
The domestic finance chief is responsible for development of policies concerning financial institutions, federal debt finance, financial regulation and capital markets.
Geithner has filled some top posts with officials from President Bill Clinton’s administration, including Deputy Secretary Neal Wolin and Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions Michael Barr.

Large private equity funds like Hellman & Friedman have been bidding on many of the failed finance companies that were victims of the ongoing economic downturn.
The firm bid on the Neuberger asset management unit from Lehman, which was ultimately sold to Neuberger management, and looked at bidding for the iShares unit that Barclays sold to CVC Capital Partners.
Goldstein joined San Francisco-based Hellman & Friedman in 2004 after more than 20 years working in financial services.
Goldstein also served as chief financial officer at the World Bank and oversaw the lender’s work to strengthen financial and capital market systems worldwide, one official said.

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