Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota on Thursday was named president and CEO of The Financial Services Roundtable, replacing longtime CEO Steve Barlett, who is retiring.
“I’m excited about this new challenge,” Pawlenty said, in a statement. “Few industries have more impact on the entire economy—and on the lives of average Americans—than financial services. I realize there is still work to be done to continue to earn customers’ confidence. Our members will best accomplish that goal by responsibly investing every day in our communities and job creators. I look forward to working closely with decision makers from both parties on issues related to our nation’s banks, insurance companies and investment firms so that they can continue to provide fuel for America’s economic engine.”
Because The Financial Services Roundtable is a bipartisan organization, Pawlenty will step down as a national co-chairman of the Mitt Romney for President campaign. “My time in public service was rewarding and focused on achieving results,” Pawlenty said. “I am grateful to have had the opportunity to serve, but I am now moving on and committed to focusing fully on this new opportunity.”
Tom Wilson, CEO of Allstate and chairman of The Financial Services Roundtable, said in the same statement that as governor of Minnesota, Pawlenty “was a highly successful chief executive who created an environment for economic growth and job creation with a common sense and balanced approach to problem solving. He understands that while policymakers sincerely desire to improve economic opportunities for all Americans, they also have different political philosophies. Tim knows this and is able to create win-win solutions to difficult issues. He is exactly the kind of leader we need to continue to improve our industry’s reputation, advocate firm-but-fair regulation and help maintain our global leadership of the financial markets.”
Pawlenty, 51, served as governor of Minnesota from 2003 to 2011 and, before that, was a member of the state’s House of Representatives from 1993 to 2003, serving two terms as majority leader. From 2007 to 2008, he chaired the bipartisan National Governors Association. In the past two years, he gained prominence by running for the Republican nomination for president of the United States.