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Out of the Sarbox: de Molina Named COO of GMAC

The former Bank of America CFO, who quit because Sarbox was making his job "a little less fun," will oversee operations at GMAC on behalf of privat...
Sarah JohnsonAugust 20, 2007

Alvaro de Molina, who left Bank of America after just 18 months as CFO last December, will take over the newly created position of GMAC Financial Services’ chief operating officer.

The new COO slot is de Molina’s first assignment since he resurfaced at Cerberus Capital Management in June and was named a principal. The private-equity firm bought a 51 percent stake of GMAC from General Motors last year.

De Molina’s move to a private-equity firm came as a surprise following his unexpected departure from Bank of America. He abandoned the CFO slot after only a year and a half, but had worked at the bank for 17 years. His work as CFO of the second largest U.S. bank turned out to be “a little less fun” because of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act’s restrictive nature, he told the press at the time. He also said he wanted to explore other business opportunities outside the finance department and expressed interest in being the CEO of a public company or the head of a hedge fund or private-equity fund.

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While he will be reporting to GMAC CEO Eric Feldstein, de Molina will have the firm’s finance department directly beneath him, including CFO Sanjiv Khattri. De Molina will be responsible for GMAC’s real estate finance and commercial finance business, as well as its global finance and risk functions, the company announced Monday. He’ll also serve on the GMAC executive committee and sit on the boards of GMAC ResCap, GMAC Commercial Finance, and GMAC Bank.

In April 2006, Cerberus agreed to help GMAC turn itself around and give $14 billion to General Motors for the deal over a three-year period. GM owns 49 percent of the firm, which it had wholly owned for 88 years.

When de Molina joined Cerberus earlier this summer, the private-equity firm told CFO.com that he was “ideally suited to provide guidance and counsel across the broad range of financial services investments in the Cerberus portfolio.” Indeed, GMAC’s Feldstein mentioned de Molina’s leadership skills and knowledge in financial services as a “valuable asset.”

De Molina became CFO at Bank of America in September 2005. Now 50 years old, he previously had been CEO of Banc of America Securities, the bank’s investment banking subsidiary.

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