DALLAS - A Houston banker and businessman has been named executive director of the Texas Bond Review Board, beating out more than 100 other candidates for the job.
Albert L. Bacarisse, 62, said he plans to begin work in about two weeks after he winds down his job as president of the Houston Landmark Group, a real estate development and consulting firm.
Bacarisse said he accepted the Bond Review Board position because he wants to return to the financial field and relocate to Austin. "Most of my background has been in banking and finance," he said. "It's my first love."
Bacarisse, who worked in the banking industry for more than 30 years, was chairman and chief executive officer of Harris County Bancshares from 1970-88. He also was the chief executive officer of Long Point National Bank in Houston and supervisor of operations for Fidelity Bank and Trust in Houston.
Dale Craymer, Gov. Ann Richards' budget director who chairs the board, said Bacarisse's banking experience was one of the reasons for his selection. In addition, Craymer said the Houston native had experience as a bond issuer when he was a founding director of a municipal utility district in Houston.
"He has experience both as an issuer and in industry," Craymer said, and "he has the temperament to deal with five elected officials."
The Texas Bond Review Board has five members, including top elected officials in the state, and oversees all state level debt issues. Since the board was created in 1987, two men have served as executive director, including Jim Thomassen who recently returned to his job as head of the public finance section for the state Attorney General's Office.
Since Thomassen's resignation about two months ago, the Bond Review Board has looked at more than 100 candidates and interviewed about 10 people for the executive director's post, Craymer said. Bacarisse was chosen from three finalists, who came in for a second round of interviews.
"It was a long process," Craymer said. "There were a large number of applicants, and we wanted to look closely at everyone."
Bacarisse, not only has the financial background, but strong management experience as well. For example, he has been responsible for operations employing more than 140 employees and has been chairman of the board for Parkway Hospital in Houston.
He worked with regulatory authorities while heading a multi-million banking network.
"Over the years in the banking business, you have to deal with board members, customers, staff, and regulators. I think I have learned to deal with most kinds of situations," Bacarisse said.
He said he plans to visit with the Bond Review Board staff this week and orient himself.
Later, he plans to move with his wife, Bettie, to a home near Austin, which the couple has owned for years.
Bacarisse has a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Houston.