Douglas T. Williams, executive vice president of Chase Manhattan Corp., has been named chairman of CLS Services Ltd., a London-based bank consortium that manages risk in foreign exchange transactions.

He will succeed CLS Services' chairman, Stephen Thieke, a J.P. Morgan & Co. managing director, at yearend.

Mr. Williams is to spearhead the development of CLS Bank, which would operate a system in New York to execute all payments of a single foreign exchange transaction simultaneously. The system is designed to eliminate risk.

Mr. Williams, a 12-year Chase veteran, oversaw the industry's largest merger of fund transfer operations when Chase combined with Chemical Banking Corp. in 1996. In his current job he is head of Chase Treasury Solutions, which executes more than $1 trillion of transactions on an average day.

"As we enter a new phase in the company's development, we are delighted to have someone with the background and capabilities of Doug Williams to take over the policy direction of CLS Services," said its chief executive officer, Larry Recknagel.

Mr. Thieke, chairman of J.P. Morgan's risk management committee, oversaw CLS Services' creation in 1996. He was instrumental in the company's acquisitions of Exchange Clearing House Ltd. and Multinet International Bank.

These bank-owned companies relied on multilateral netting arrangements to lower interbank foreign exchange settlement risk. CLS Services is striving to eliminate such risk completely through the proposed CLS Bank.

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