Discover Financial Services today announced the appointment of nine designees who will serve on its new Board of Directors following the company's spin-off from Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) later this month.
The announcement follows the spin-off approval by the Morgan Stanley Board of Directors, which set the distribution date of June 30 for all of the outstanding shares of Discover common stock to Morgan Stanley stockholders of record as of the close of business on June 18, 2007. After the distribution, Discover will be an independent, publicly traded company. Discover's common stock has been authorized for listing on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol "DFS."
"We are very pleased to have attracted such a highly qualified group of individuals to serve on our board," said David W. Nelms, Chief Executive Officer of Discover Financial Services. "Their experience and expertise will be of significant value to Discover as we continue to grow our business as an independent company."
Dennis D. Dammerman will serve as Non-Executive Chairman of the Discover Board. Dammerman retired in 2005 as Vice Chairman of the Board and Executive Officer of General Electric Company and Director, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GE Capital Services, after a nearly 40-year career with GE. Dammerman is Chairman of the Board of Capmark Financial Group Inc., and a Non-Executive Director of BlackRock, Inc.
Nelms, who has led Discover Financial Services since 1998, also will serve on the Board of Directors. Prior to his appointment at Discover, Nelms was Vice Chairman of MBNA America Bank.
Other members of the board will include:
- Jeffrey S. Aronin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ovation Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company he founded in 2000. He is the former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at MedCare Technologies, a publicly held healthcare company. He also has held various executive positions at American Health Products Corporation, including leadership of both Marketing and Business Development, and in the pharmaceutical division of Carter-Wallace.
- Mary K. Bush, President of Bush International, a company she founded in 1991 that advises on financing and business development strategies internationally. Bush has served as the U.S. Government's representative on the IMF Board, head of the Federal Home Loan Bank System and head of International Finance at Fannie Mae. In 2006, President Bush appointed her Chairman of the HELP Commission, whose goal is to improve the effectiveness of U.S. foreign aid. Bush is a member of the Board of Directors at UAL, Brady Corporation, Briggs & Stratton, ManTech International and The Pioneer Family of Mutual Funds.
- Robert M. Devlin, Chairman of Curragh Capital Partners, a private equity firm headquartered in New York City. He is a principal owner and a Director of Forethought Financial Group Inc., a life insurance and financial services company. He also serves as a senior advisor to Lazard, Inc., and is a Director of Cooper Industries and LKQ Corporation. Mr. Devlin was formerly Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of American General, which was acquired by American International Group in 2001.
- David H. Komansky, Chairman Emeritus of Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. During his 35-year career at Merrill Lynch, Komansky held a succession of management positions, including Chairman from 1997 to 2003, CEO from 1996 to 2002, and President and Chief Operating Officer from 1995 to December 1996. He currently is a Director of BlackRock, Inc.; WPP Group plc; AEA Investors LLC and Burt's Bees, Inc.
- Philip A. Laskawy, former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ernst & Young LLP, who retired in 2001 after 40 years of service with the firm. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of General Motors Corporation; Henry Schein, Inc.; Loews Corporation and The Progressive Corporation. In addition, he is Chairman of the International Accounting Standards Committee Foundation.
- Michael L. Rankowitz, senior advisor to Morgan Stanley. In 2001, Mr. Rankowitz retired from Morgan Stanley, where he worked for over 20 years, most recently as Co-Head of Global High Yield, responsible for risk management, research and sales for high yield, emerging markets, bank debt and distressed securities. He currently is a Director and Chairman of the Finance Committee of the New York Racing Association.
- Lawrence A. Weinbach, Partner at Yankee Hill Capital Management LLC. Previously, he served as Executive Chairman (2005-2006) and Chairman and Chief Executive (1997-2004) of Unisys Corporation. He began his career in 1961 at Arthur Andersen, ultimately serving as Managing Partner and Chief Executive (1989-1997) of Andersen Worldwide, which included Arthur Andersen and what is now known as Accenture. Weinbach serves on the boards of Avon Products, Inc., UBS AG and Quadra Realty Trust.