Philadelphia Fed names new research chief

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By Michael S. Derby

(Reuters) – Roc Armenter will become the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s new research director in January, the bank said on Thursday in a press release.

Armenter, an economist who has worked for the bank since 2008, will replace current research chief Michael Dotsey, who is retiring after 40 years of central bank employment.

Armenter will be the chief economic advisor to the bank, under the leadership of Patrick Harker.

Harker will have a vote on the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee next year, in a period in which the Fed will need to decide when to slow or stop its rate rise campaign as it moves forward with efforts to shrink the size of its balance sheet.

The Philadelphia Fed said Armenter has worked extensively on monetary policy and central bank balance sheet issues.

“Roc’s experience with monetary policy, macroeconomics, and the international economy will make him a valuable partner in our FOMC responsibilities,” Harker said in a statement.

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Regional Fed bank research director roles can be stepping stones to higher positions within the central bank.

For example, Cleveland Fed leader Loretta Mester was research director at the Philadelphia Fed before taking her current role in 2014, while New York Fed chief John Williams held a similar position at the San Francisco Fed from 2009 to 2011. Meanwhile, Fed governor Christopher Waller led the St. Louis Fed research group before coming to the board in 2020.

According to data from the Brookings Institution, Harker is one of the two regional Fed bank presidents next up for mandatory age-related retirement and will need to exit his job in June 2025. Mester is set to retire for the same reason in May 2024. The leaders of the Chicago and Kansas City Fed banks have already announced that they are retiring in early 2023.

(Reporting by Michael S. Derby; Editing by Mark Porter)