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After 14 years with the Office of Thrift Supervision, chief counsel Carolyn Buck recently retired and moved to Telluride, Colorado. Avid skiers and hikers, Buck and her husband had purchased a condominium in the skiing mecca several years ago, and long considered moving there full-time. In June they did just that. Buck was replaced at the OTS � a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury � by the agency’s deputy chief counsel for business transactions, John Bowman. The OTS is the primary regulator of all federally chartered and many state-chartered thrift institutions, which include savings banks and savings and loan associations. As chief counsel, Buck oversaw a 50-person legal staff, with personnel in Jersey City, Atlanta, Dallas, and San Francisco. Unlike many senior government employees, who come and go with presidents, Buck weathered four administrations during her tenure at the OTS. She says her nonpartisan approach to the job allowed her to outlast many other agency heads. “If you’re not comfortable being creative as philosophies change, it would be a tough job to do,” she says. It was interesting, she says, sometimes, making those adjustments. “In a way you can be on both sides of an issue in your career,” she notes. Prior to joining the OTS, Buck worked in various management and staff positions in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s general counsel’s office, which she joined in 1971. Buck says that her time at the OTS was marked by three distinct issues. In the early nineties, the savings and loans crisis was in full swing, and the OTS was testing the limits of its enforcement powers. In the mid-nineties the OTS focused on changes in the way that banks and other financial services firms could combine. Most recently, says Buck, the agency has been discussing how the European Union and United States coordinate on banking regulations for companies that operate globally. “It’s almost as though I’ve had different careers in the time that I’ve been here,” she says. Buck’s replacement, John Bowman, is no newcomer at the OTS. He has worked as deputy chief counsel for business transactions since 1999. He has also headed the OTS division that provides legal services related to various corporate applications and securities filings. Prior to joining the agency, Bowman was a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Brown & Wood (now Sidley Austin Brown & Wood), where he specialized in government and corporate finance. Before private practice, he spent 14 years at the Treasury Department, including seven years as the assistant general counsel for banking and finance. Bowman says that after graduating from law school in Southern California, he moved to Washington to get government experience for what he expected would be “two to three years.” But, he says, he was so enamored of the legal and policy issues he dealt with at the Treasury Department that two years became almost two decades in government.

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