US Treasury Taps Former Chrysler Exec in Bid to Save Ally Financial

Gerry Greenwald to serve as new director of troubled lender.

by on Aug.16, 2012

Former Chrysler Vice Chairman Gerry Greenwald.

He played a critical role in saving Chrysler three decades ago, and now the U.S. Treasury is hoping one of the maker’s top former executives can work the same magic at struggling Ally Financial, one of the companies bailed out by the government in 2009.

A turnaround is more than academic for taxpayers.  The Treasury still owns a 70% stake in Ally, formerly known as General Motors Acceptance Corp.  The firm continues trying to dig out from the financial crisis of 2008 and a disastrous foray into the mortgage business.

Ally said Gerald Greenwald, former chairman and chief executive officer of United Airlines and vice chairman of Chrysler Corp., will join its board along with Henry S. Miller, an experienced private equity executive.  Both were nominated by the Treasury Department.

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“Gerald and Henry are valued additions to the Ally board,” said Ally Chairman Franklin Hobbs. “They bring extensive experience from both the financial and auto sectors and will add key perspectives as Ally continues its transformation. We are pleased to have these two seasoned leaders join the board.”

Greenwald has an extensive resume that most recently  saw him help put together the Greenbriar Equity Group, a private equity firm focused on the global transportation sector.  Prior to this, Greenwald was the chairman and chief executive officer of United Airlines from 1994 to 1999. During his time at the airline, he helped return the company to profitability and build its leadership position globally.

Greenwald began his career in the automotive industry at Ford Motor Company where he worked in several positions including controller, director of operations in Europe and president of Ford of Venezuela.

He later joined Chrysler, where he worked in various positions including corporate controller and chief financial officer before being promoted to vice chairman.

Miller has served as chairman of Marblegate Asset Management, LLC since its formation in 2009. He was also co-founder, chairman and managing director of Miller Buckfire & Co., LLC from 2002 until 2011. Miller has an accomplished background in restructurings and has worked in various capacities on several
complex cases throughout his career.

Prior to founding Miller Buckfire, he was vice chairman and managing director at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, serving as head of the financial restructuring group. Miller also served as managing director and head of both the restructuring and transportation industry group of Salomon Brothers. He has also served in senior leadership roles at Prudential Securities and Lehman Brothers.

Greenwald and Miller join nine other directors on the board Ally, which has shifted its strategic focus on its clients in the automotive world, including its old proprietor General Motors and the Chrysler Group.  While GM has been getting back into financing, Chrysler has eschewed efforts to rebuild a captive finance company.


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