Magazine article American Banker

Chemical's Lawyer since 1957 Becomes Bank's Vice Chairman

Magazine article American Banker

Chemical's Lawyer since 1957 Becomes Bank's Vice Chairman

Article excerpt

NEW YORK -- Richard S. Simmons, who has represented the Chemical New York Corp. as an outside legal counsel for nearly 30 years, has been elected vice chairman and a director of the bank holding company and its principal subsidiary, Chemical Bank, the company announced Thursday.

Mr. Simmons, 56, will assume his new position Oct. 15. He succeeds Richard K. LeBlond II, who is retiring at age 65.

The new vice chairman is currently the deputy president partner in the law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore, Chemical's principal outside legal counsel. "He's worked exclusively with the Chemical account," said Chemical spokesman Ken Herz. "He's very well known at Chemical."

In fact, Mr. Simmons has spent most of his career working with Chemical. "Cravath took over the Chemical account shortly after I joined the firm," he said. He joined Cravath in 1956, and Chemical became a client in 1957.

"I started as a young lawyer working with Chemical," he said.

Mr. Simmons has since maintained a close relationship with the bank holding company. He has been involved with "every major acquisition that Chemical has done" since he began working with the company, he said.

"It's an institution with which I'm extremely familiar."

He took a two-year break from the law firm in 1960 and 1961 to work as deputy superintendent of banks for the State of New York, a position in which he was counsel for the banking department. "It was in the first Rockefeller administration," he said, referring to former Gov. Nelson Rockefeller. "I spent a lot of time on legislation. …

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