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Years of studying financial services paid off for Penn Finance professor Anthony Santomero when he was appointed the new head of the Federal Bank Reserve of Philadelphia last Thursday.

The appointment of Santomero -- the current director of the Wharton Financial Institutes Center -- ends an extensive nationwide search to replace former president Edward Boehne, who stepped down on May 31.

"I am pleased to join the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia and be a part of the Federal Reserve system," Santomero said in a press statement released last week.

"I am looking forward to talking with the business people and community leaders around the District, and bringing their perspective to the monetary and financial discussions in Washington," he continued.

Santomero was out of the country this week and could not be reached for further comment.

While the job means Santomero's office will move from West Philadelphia to Washington, D.C., Santomero has requested a leave of absence from the school and will retain his professorship at the University.

Santomero will take the reins as president of the Philadelphia Fed on July 10.

In his new post, Santomero will oversee the approximately 1,200 employees of the Philadelphia Fed.

The Philadelphia branch is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks which, with the Board of Governors, makes up the nation's central bank.

And, according to Wharton Financial Institutions Center Managing Director Peter Burns, Santomero is well suited for the task.

"Tony has very, very strong managerial skills, which I think will serve him well in an organization as large and complex as the Philadelphia Fed," Burns said.

Burns also commended the Wharton professor's knowledge of the industry, noting that Santomero has as "deep an understanding of the financial services industry as anyone I know in the country."

"It's really a gain for the city and the Fed," Burns added.

Santomero, who came to Penn as an assistant professor in 1972, has focused his research on the financial services industry, risk management issues and financial regulation.

Like Burns, Wharton Dean Patrick Harker commended Santomero for his work at Penn.

"Tony has been instrumental in keeping Wharton at the forefront of academic research in the financial institutions industry, and now the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia will benefit from his wealth of talent and expertise," said Harker in a press statement. "He will excel in this role."

The current Richard K. Mellon Professor of Finance, Santomero has served as the Deputy Dean of the school before becoming the director of the Financial Institutes Center in 1995.

Philadelphia Fed Board of Directors Chair Joan Carter said in a press release that it was this background that gave Santomero the knowledge needed to tackle the new position.

"Tony Santomero has an extensive background in financial services and monetary policy issues," Carter said. "I am confident that under his leaderhsip the Bank will continue to excel as we meet the challenges of an ever-changing financial environment."

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