URI Financial Services Symposium to feature FDIC vice chairman

KINGSTON, R.I. – March 17, 2009 –Martin Gruenberg, vice chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s Board of Directors, will be the keynote speaker at the University of Rhode Island’s 2009 Financial Services Symposium April 7.

To be held at the Rhode Island Convention Center, 1 Sabin St., Providence, the event starts at 7:45 a.m. and winds up at 2 p.m. Gruenberg’s talk is at noon.

Mark Higgins, dean of the College of Business Administration said, “We have held this event to highlight the importance of the financial services industry to the state, of course, this year it is even more significant for Rhode Island. We look forward to the informative and timely discussions.”

Higgins will open the seminar with Gov. Donald L. Carcieri and URI President Robert L. Carothers offering remarks.

Featured speakers also include Steven Gresham, senior vice president of Fidelity Investments and a visiting instructor at the Taubman Center for Public Policy and American Institutions at Brown University. Panels will include Ernest Almonte, auditor general for the state of Rhode Island; Richard Bernstein, executive counsel of the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation and others.

Gruenberg’s lunchtime address will address current financial industry issues. In addition to his role as vice chairman of the FDIC since August 2005, Gruenberg served as acting chairman from November 2005 to June 2006. In November 2007, he was named chairman of the FDIC’s Executive Council and president of the International Association of Deposit Insurers.

Gruenberg joined the FDIC after broad congressional experience in the financial services and regulatory areas. He served as senior counsel to Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes, (D-Md.) on the staff of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs from 1993 to 2005. Gruenberg advised the senator on issues of domestic and international financial regulation, monetary policy and trade.

He also served as staff director of the banking committee’s Subcommittee on International Finance and Monetary Policy from 1987 to 1992.

Major legislation in which Gruenberg played an active role during his service to the committee includes the Financial Institution Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Improvement Act of 1991, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley act and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.

Gruenberg holds a law degree from Case Western Reserve Law School and a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

“Mr. Gruenberg has been involved with the regulation of banks since the 1980s, and given today’s difficult climate, his remarks will be critical for anyone working in the financial services,” said Shaw Chen, associate dean of URI’s College of Business Administration and coordinator of the event. “Right now, he is probably the most knowledgeable person about financial services regulation.”

Major sponsors of the symposium are Fidelity Investments, the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, MetLife Auto & Home, Amica Mutual Insurance Co., the Rhode Island Economic Development Corp and Sovereign Bank.

Tickets are $50 prior to April 6 at noon, or $60 at the door. To register or view the symposium schedule, visit www.cba.uri.edu/fss or call the Greater Providence Chamber at 521-5000.