William Rutledge, executive vice president and head of bank supervision at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, announced Thursday that he plans to retire Dec. 31.

"The passage of regulatory reform is an important milestone that creates new challenges and opportunities for bank supervision," Rutledge said. "After having spent many wonderful years at the New York Fed, I believe this is the right moment to announce the change to pass the torch on to a new generation of leadership in the group at yearend."

Rutledge, 61, joined the bank in 1974 as an economist in the banking studies division. In his 36 years at the bank, he has held several senior positions in the bank supervision group. In 1999 he was appointed head of bank supervision.

A successor to Rutledge has not yet been named.

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