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New York Fed reorganizes Markets Group after departure of top official

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York is restructuring the leadership roles for its markets division following the departure of its former head, Simon Potter.

Potter had led the Markets Group at the New York Fed since 2012, overseeing the implementation of the central bank's trading operations, advising the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee and helping develop new reference interest rates for U.S. money markets, among other things.

The New York Fed said it is restructuring the leadership roles in the Markets Group by splitting Potter's prior position into two roles. That move will help ensure the group can "best meet its critical responsibilities," the New York Fed said in a news release.

The announcement came days after a Bloomberg News report highlighting morale issues at the New York Fed following Potter's departure, along with the exit of Richard Dzina, who led the Financial Services Group and was responsible for managing key Fed payment processing services. New York Fed President John Williams announced both of their exits on May 28, which Bloomberg News reported was a surprise to many on staff. The report also said the two disagreed with Williams on management issues, citing people close to Potter and Dzina.

The New York Fed is now searching for candidates for two top roles on the Markets Group team. One will be executive vice president and head of the Markets Group, overseeing the group's products and services and focusing particularly on "operational effectiveness, policy, human capital, and technology." The other top official will be the executive vice president and manager of one key part of the Markets Group's responsibilities: the Fed's securities portfolio, known as the System Open Market Account, or SOMA.

It is working with the search firm Spencer Stuart to identify candidates for both positions and a successor to Dzina.

Ray Testa, the Markets Group's COO, has been running the division on an interim basis. Chris Armstrong, senior vice president of cash operations, has been interim head of the Financial Services Group.