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Mark Van Der Weide, a legal star who has been rising for some time, has reached a zenith in the American economy.
The Federal Reserve Board has appointed him as general counsel, following Scott G. Alvarez, a 36-year-veteran of the agency, who is retiring. Van Der Weide beat out many other veteran attorneys for the position, having ascended steadily at the Fed since 2010.
"The Board gave thorough consideration to many highly qualified internal and external candidates and Mr. Van Der Weide was chosen for his exceptional skills and experience," the Fed said in a statement.
"Maximize Shareholder Wealth"
After receiving his law degree from Yale Law School in 1995, Van Der Weide went to work for Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton in Washington, D.C. In 1996, he published an article on corporate duties to stakeholders in the Delaware Journal of Corporate Law.
Most corporate law scholars assume "that corporations should operate according to rules that maximize social wealth," he wrote. "Instead, this article seeks to champion those corporate law scholars who further assume that, in order to maximize social wealth, corporations should act to maximize shareholder wealth."
Van Der Weide first worked for the Fed in 1998, then moved to the U.S. Treasury in 2009 and 2010. He helped implement financial reform legislation under the Dodd-Frank Act during that time.
"Van Der Weide's fingerprints are on nearly all the important banking regulations the Fed has released since then," said Ian Katz of Capital Alpha.
Since 2010, Van Der Weide has held positions in the Fed's division of supervision and regulation. He was promoted twice in three years, and last served as deputy director until his appointment as general counsel.
Jack Murphy, a Cleary Gottlieb lawyer, said historically the general counsel position has been "extemely" important because many U.S. and foreign banks fall under its jurisdiction. He said the position has grown even more important over time.
"To me, Mark is the ideal candidate to take on that role," Murphy told Bloomberg BNA. "He is highly regarded by the Board and the staff and by the industry."