Wachovia's ex-chief lands job at private-equity firm

Former Wachovia chief executive Ken Thompson has joined a New York investment firm as a senior adviser, setting the stage for a second act in a financial services career tarnished by the Charlotte bank's near collapse and sale last year to Wells Fargo.

A year ago next Tuesday, Wachovia made the stunning announcement that its board had ousted Thompson amid rising losses from his Golden West Financial acquisition and other missteps. Less than four months later, as the financial crisis deepened, successor Bob Steel agreed to sell Wachovia to San Francisco-based Wells.

Thompson, 58, on Wednesday confirmed he's working at private-equity firm Aquiline Capital Partners but declined to comment further. He has been with the firm a couple of months, spending time in New York and Charlotte.

With a $1.1 billion fund raised in 2007, Aquiline invests in banking, insurance, asset management and other financial services-related companies. Private-equity firms aim to make a return by improving operations and cutting costs at the companies in which they invest.

Aquiline's chief executive is Jeffrey Greenberg, the former CEO of insurance brokerage Marsh & McLennan Cos. He founded the firm in 2005 after resigning amid then-New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer's bid-rigging suit against Marsh.

A spokesman for Aquiline confirmed Thompson's position but declined further comment.


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