May 08, 2012

John E. Bowman, Former Acting Director of the Office of Thrift Supervision and Longtime Treasury Official, Joins Venable’s Financial Services Practice

5 min

Bowman joined federal agency regulating thrifts and S&Ls in 1999 and led it from 2009 to 2011; previously served as the Assistant GC for Banking and Finance at the Treasury Department for many years.

WASHINGTON, DC (May 8, 2012) – Venable LLP strengthens its highly regarded Financial Services Practice with the addition of former Office of Thrift Supervision Acting Director John E. Bowman, who joins the firm in the Washington, DC and Los Angeles, CA offices as a partner.  As head of the OTS, Mr. Bowman also served as a Director on the five member board of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Mr. Bowman joined the OTS, which regulated thrifts, savings and loans, and their holding companies, in 1999, rising to the position of Deputy Director and Chief Counsel before taking over as Acting Director in early 2009. During his tenure at the helm, the 1,000-employee OTS oversaw more than 720 federal and state chartered thrifts with assets of $930.2 billion and 440 holding company enterprises with approximately $4.2 trillion in U.S. domiciled consolidated assets. During that time, Mr. Bowman also served as a Director of NeighborWorks America as well as the Vice Chairman of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council.

Earlier in his career Mr. Bowman served for many years as the Assistant General Counsel for Banking and Finance at the U.S. Treasury Department. During his 14 year tenure at Treasury he provided advice and counsel to the senior leadership of the Department on legal and strategic implications on a broad range of issues from financial modernization to the financing of the Federal debt.  Representative issues included resolution of the savings and loan crisis, financial services and securities legislation and various debt limit crises. While at the Treasury, Mr. Bowman was the recipient of the Presidential Rank Award and the Secretary of the Treasury’s Distinguished Service Award.

“Mr. Bowman’s extensive background in the financial services sector is a perfect fit with the focus of Venable’s banking and finance regulatory practice area,” says Ronald Glancz, chair of the firm’s Financial Services Group. “John’s deep understanding of the range of issues confronted by banks and other financial institutions, accumulated through his many years in government as well as private practice, is an immense asset to our firm as we represent clients dealing with changing laws and multiple regulatory agencies at the federal and state levels. We welcome him aboard and are eager to make his knowledge and experience available to our clients.”

Brock Landry, co-chair of Venable’s Government Division, added. “Venable’s finance and consumer protection regulatory practices already boast former government officials from the Treasury, OCC, FDIC, SEC, FTC, DOJ, and numerous other agencies, and John’s extensive experience at the highest levels of government brings a new dimension to that lineup. Financial services providers face a challenging and even mystifying legal and compliance landscape these days, which is why bringing aboard someone like John directly from government service offers such a key window of insight for our clients. He’s an outstanding addition to all of our financial regulatory practices.”

John Beaty, a senior partner in the financial services group with a significant history of working with thrift institutions says: “Mr. Bowman’s widely respected strength of character, his broad and strategic perspective on the policy underpinnings of the regulation and supervision of financial institutions, and his appreciation of the needs of individual depository institutions are all going to mesh extraordinarily well with our robust financial services practice. We are very excited to have him join with us to build and strengthen relationships with clients engaged in financial activities.”

“John’s background will help Venable broaden its financial services practice and provide deeper advice on legislative and policy matters,” added Suzanne Garwood, a partner focusing on state and federal law relating to consumer credit and financial services and a leader on Venable’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Task Force,  “His government experience includes not only enforcing regulations but drafting them while at Treasury and the OTS —his familiarity with laws governing financial institutions and their holding companies is from the ground up, and will be of tremendous benefit to our clients.”

Venable has one of the preeminent banking and financial services practices in the country, with many attorneys ranked as among the top practitioners in their fields by Best Lawyers in America and Chambers USA. U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Law Firms” ranks Venable’s Banking practice in the top tier nationally and Banking & Finance in Washington, DC as top tier.

Mr. Bowman says, “I’ve known a number of Venable attorneys for years, through my posts at Treasury and the OTS, including Ed Wilson, Ron, John and Brock. The firm’s banking and financial services lawyers have always impressed me with the depth and breadth of their knowledge of the industry—and as a result of their capability the firm boasts an interesting and challenging range of clients. The current economic climate in which all banks and other financial services firms operate present significant transactional, regulatory compliance and other legal and public policy challenges.  Thus this is a dynamic and demanding time in financial services where clients need qualified and experienced counsel, and I’m excited to join a high-performance firm with so many quality people.”

Mr. Bowman began his career as a senior attorney in the general counsel’s office at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, handling matters concerning the Rural Electrification Administration. From 1997 to 1999 he worked in private practice as a partner at Brown & Wood LLP, focusing on government and corporate finance and securities and financial services regulation.

He earned his J.D. from Pepperdine University School of Law and a B.A. in Philosophy from California State University, Fullerton.

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