2004 News Releases

For immediate release: December 21, 2004

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Announces New President

DALLAS—Richard W. Fisher will become President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas effective April 4, 2005. The appointment of Mr. Fisher was announced today by Ray L. Hunt, Chairman of the Bank's Board of Directors. Mr. Fisher will succeed Robert D. McTeer, Jr., who resigned November 4, 2004, to become chancellor of the Texas A&M University System.

Mr. Fisher, 55, is currently Vice Chairman of Kissinger McLarty Associates, a strategic advisory firm chaired by Henry Kissinger, the former Secretary of State of the United States of America.

As President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Mr. Fisher will head one of the 12 regional Reserve Banks, which with the Board of Governors in Washington, D.C., make up the Federal Reserve System, the nation's central bank. He will participate in meetings of the Federal Open Market Committee, a principal policy-making body in the Federal Reserve System, and during 2005, and every third year following, will be a voting member of that Committee.

The Dallas Reserve Bank serves the Eleventh Federal Reserve District, which includes all of Texas, as well as portions of Louisiana and New Mexico. The Federal Reserve is responsible for managing the country's money supply, supervising banks and depository institutions, and serving as fiscal agent for the federal government. The Federal Reserve also provides services to depository institutions.

Ray Hunt, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, said, “We are extremely pleased with the fact that Richard Fisher will soon be joining us as our new President. Richard possesses a superb knowledge of the nation’s economic and monetary system and his direct personal involvement in a number of very important international economic treaties and activities make him uniquely qualified to provide the very forward-looking leadership for which the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas has become known.”

Mr. Fisher graduated with honors from Harvard in economics, earned an MBA from Stanford, and studied engineering at the U.S. Naval Academy and Latin American politics at Oxford University. He began his career as a banker at the private bank of Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. At Brown Brothers, Mr. Fisher was assistant to Robert Roosa, a former senior official of the Federal Reserve and Under Secretary of the Treasury who had trained several leading financial officials, among them Paul Volcker, who went on to become Federal Reserve Board Chairman before Mr. Greenspan.

In 1977, Mr. Fisher was "loaned out" by Brown Brothers to serve as Assistant to the Secretary of the Treasury during the Carter Administration, where he worked on issues related to the dollar crisis of 1978 and 1979, then returned to Brown Brothers to found their Texas operations in Dallas. In 1987, he created Fisher Capital Management, an investment advisory firm, and a separate funds management firm, Fisher Ewing Partners, which focused heavily on investing in distressed banks, savings and loans, and thrifts. He sold his controlling interests in both firms when he again joined the government in 1997.

From 1997 to 2001, Mr. Fisher served as Deputy United States Trade Representative with the rank of Ambassador. Ambassador Fisher oversaw the implementation of NAFTA, negotiations for the Free Trade Area of the Americas, and the initiation of the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement negotiations. He negotiated several major agreements on behalf of the United States in Asia, including the Bilateral Trade Agreement with Vietnam signed by President Bush, the U.S.-Korea Auto Agreement of 1998, and the initiation of the Free Trade agreement with Singapore, and was a senior member of the team that negotiated the bilateral accords for China and Taiwan's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). Under an agreement struck between President Clinton and Japanese Prime Minister Hashimoto, Ambassador Fisher co-chaired the U.S.-Japan Enhanced Initiative on Competition and Deregulation which led to significant changes in the financial, telecommunications, commercial and legal sectors of the Japanese economy.

"I am excited at the prospect of working for the brilliant staff at the Dallas Fed. This is a homecoming in more than one way. I started my career at Brown Brothers as the assistant to Robert Roosa, a legendary figure in both the Federal Reserve System and the U.S. Treasury. He and the partners there taught me the bond, stock, and foreign exchange markets and the investment trade. It was Mr. Roosa's ardent wish that someday I would 'pay it back' by joining the Federal Reserve, which he considered the 'purest form of public service, above and beyond the reach of partisan politics.' He is probably grinning up in heaven right now," said Mr. Fisher.

Richard W. Fisher Background

Richard W. Fisher is Vice Chairman of Kissinger McLarty Associates, a partnership with Henry Kissinger, the former Secretary of State for Presidents Nixon and Ford, and Mack McLarty, former White House Chief of Staff in the Clinton Administration. He additionally serves in an honorific capacity as Senior Advisor to the law firm of Covington & Burling, and as Senior Advisor to FCM Investments, an SEC registered investment advisory firm he founded in 1987 and sold outright in 1997.

Mr. Fisher has served on numerous for-profit and not-for-profit boards throughout his career, ranging from the U.S.-Russia Fund and the University of Texas Investment Management Company (UTIMCO) to the Institute for Contemporary German Studies and the Dallas Museum of Art. Presently, he is a Director of Electronic Data Systems Corporation (EDS), the Brookings Institution, the American Council on Germany, and the Pacific Council. He is a member of the Trilateral Commission, and immediate past Chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations' Congressional Roundtable on International Trade & Economics. He is Chairman of the American Assembly and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

From 1997 to 2001, Mr. Fisher was Deputy United States Trade Representative with the rank of Ambassador. During this period, Ambassador Fisher oversaw trade policy for Asia and the Pacific and the Americas. He represented the U.S. at both the 1999 New Zealand and 2000 Australia Ministerial meetings of the 21-member states of APEC. Ambassador Fisher negotiated the U.S.-Korea Auto Agreement of 1998; the U.S.-Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement, which was signed by President Bush in 2001; and the initiation of the U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Agreement. He was a member of the team that negotiated the U.S.-China agreement for Chinese accession to the World Trade Organization and, separately, the bilateral aspects of Taiwan's accession. He chaired the American delegation for the Enhanced Initiative on Competition and Deregulation of the Japanese Economy for three years, an exercise that resulted in significant changes in the structure of Japan's telecommunications (the deregulation of NTT's telephone monopoly), housing, energy, health care, legal, retailing (the "Large Scale Retail Store Law"), and financial sectors.

During his tenure at USTR, Ambassador Fisher oversaw the implementation of NAFTA, the largest trading relationship of the U.S., accounting for 40% of U.S. exports and 30% of U.S. imports. He had oversight responsibilities for the development of the Free Trade Area of the Americas, representing the U.S. at the Ministerial level for multilateral negotiations with the 33 nations involved. He negotiated numerous high-profile issues throughout the hemisphere, including the deregulation of Telmex, the removal of Canadian restrictions on U.S. magazine publications, the protection of U.S. companies' intellectual property rights in Argentina and Brazil, and the initiation of the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement.

Throughout his tenure at USTR, Ambassador Fisher served as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). He was also a member of the National Intellectual Property Law Enforcement Coordination Council.

Before joining USTR, Mr. Fisher was Managing Partner of Fisher Capital Management and Fisher Ewing Partners from 1987 through 1997. With $500 million in equity capital, both firms specialized in buying claims to publicly-traded assets selling significantly below true value in securities markets of the U.S., Europe and throughout Asia; Mr. Fisher resided in Tokyo in 1990. Fisher Ewing's fund created in 1989, Value Partners, earned compound returns of 24% per annum until Mr. Fisher joined the government.

Previously, Mr. Fisher was Senior Manager of the private banking firm of Brown Brothers Harriman and Co., where he began his career in 1975 as an assistant to Robert Roosa specializing in fixed income and foreign exchange markets. He served in the U.S. Treasury Department from 1977-79 as Assistant to the Secretary of the Treasury, then returned to Brown Brothers to found their business in Texas, which he managed until 1987 before creating his own firms.

Mr. Fisher is a first-generation American. He is equally fluent in Spanish and English, having spent his formative years in Mexico. He attended the U.S. Naval Academy ('67-'69), graduated with honors from Harvard in economics ('71), read Latin American politics at Oxford ('72-'73), and received an MBA from Stanford University ('75).

Throughout his career, Mr. Fisher has maintained his academic interests starting in 1982-84 when he served as Chairman of the Trustees of the Stanford University Business School Trust. Subsequently, he chaired the Board of the Institute of the Americas at the University of California at San Diego; was Adjunct Professor at the L.B.J. School at the University of Texas where he taught a second year Masters degree course "Governing America in the New Century;" was a Trustee of the Institute for Contemporary German Studies at John Hopkins University and also of the School for Advanced International Studies; and served on the Visiting Committees of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and the Center for International Affairs. He was a Weatherhead Fellow at Harvard in 2001. He was recently elected an Honorary Fellow of Hertford College at Oxford University, and serves on the Stanford University Graduate School of Business Advisory Board.

Mr. Fisher took leave of his senses in 1993 and ran for the United States Senate as a conservative Democrat. To his surprise, he won the nomination in a run-off against an incumbent Congressman and a former Texas Attorney General, but garnered only 1,639,615 votes (38%) in the general election of 1994 to the Republican incumbent. "I labored briefly in the vineyards of partisan politics," Mr. Fisher said, "but all it yielded was prune juice. I was a lousy politician."

Mr. Fisher has been married for 31 years to Nancy Miles Collins. They have four children: Anders (Harvard '99; Stanford MBA '04), Alison (Harvard '02), James (Harvard '06), and Texana (Harvard '07).

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Media contact:
James Hoard
Phone: (214) 922-5307
e-mail: james.hoard@dal.frb.org

 

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