U.S. Treasury appoints two directors to Ally Financial board
08/15/2012| 02:33pm US/Eastern
(Reuters) - The U.S. Treasury Department on Wednesday named two directors to the board of Ally Financial Inc, the auto lender which is still 74-percent owned by the U.S. government after a series of bailouts during the financial crisis.
The addition of Henry Miller and Gerald Greenwald gives the Treasury its full allotment of six directors on the now 11-member board. The appointments were approved on Wednesday at a meeting of Ally's common stockholders. Current board members were also re-elected.
The new directors bring experience in restructuring and transportation to a company that is in the midst of selling off its international operations as it looks to focus on U.S. auto lending and its Internet bank.
Miller, the retired co-founder of boutique investment bank Miller Buckfire & Co, has worked on well-known corporate bankruptcies and currently sits on the board of American International Group Inc (>> American International Group, Inc.). Greenwald served as chief executive of United Airlines (>> United Continental Holdings Inc) from 1994-95 and previously worked at Ford Motor Co (>> Ford Motor Company) and Chrysler Corp, now majority owned by Fiat SpA (>> Fiat SpA).
"These two individuals will make a valuable contribution to the board as Ally moves forward on its continued efforts to repay taxpayers and support the auto industry recovery," Timothy Massad, the U.S. Treasury's assistant secretary for financial stability, said in a statement.
Ally was once the in-house lender for automaker General Motors (>> General Motors Company) known as GMAC Financial Services, but later became a separate company and was renamed. It struggled during the financial crisis when losses ballooned at its Residential Capital mortgage lending unit, which filed for bankruptcy in May.
The Detroit-based lender said in May it was selling operations in Europe, Canada and Mexico in a bid to speed up repayment to U.S. taxpayers. GM on Monday said its financial unit is among the bidders for Ally's international operations.
Ally this month posted an $898 million loss for the second quarter on ResCap bankruptcy-related charges. It faces increased competition in its auto lending business and the challenge of low interest margins in its Ally Bank unit.
(Reporting by Rick Rothacker in Charlotte, North Carolina; editing by Gerald E. McCormick, Gary Crosse)
By Rick Rothacker