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New York Fed taps insurance exec for new second in command

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NEW YORK — The New York Federal Reserve has tapped an insurance industry executive as second in command to President John Williams, a role in which there has been recent turnover at the most important of the Fed system’s 12 regional banks.

Sushmita Shukla, currently a senior vice president and the chief operations officer for International Accident & Health at insurer Chubb Ltd, will become New York Fed first vice president and chief operating officer in March, the bank said on Thursday.

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The New York Fed, which had 2,400 employees in 2021, is responsible for interacting directly with financial markets and implementing monetary policy, and Williams is the only regional bank president to be a permanent voter on the Federal Open Market Committee, the central bank’s rate-setting body. Shukla will serve as an alternate for Williams as needed on the FOMC.

Shukla comes to the bank amid some flux in its top leadership ranks over the last few years. The last person to hold the COO role was Naureen Hassan, who left the bank in September after starting in March 2021. Before that, the role was held by Michael Strine, who retired from the bank in early 2021 after taking the role in July 2015.

Another critical role the Fed is now seeking to fill permanently is that of the System Open Market account manager, vacated by Lorie Logan when she was tapped in May as president of the Dallas Fed. (Reporting by Michael S. Derby in New York Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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