Vice Chairman Randal Quarles’ visit to the Eccles School: Changing the world through banking

Randal K. Quarles, vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank, recently shared insights from his unique vantage point atop the financial world with a packed auditorium of students and members of the local banking community at the David Eccles School of Business. While introducing Quarles, Assistant Dean of Corporate Outreach Al Landon said, “It’s an exciting time for bankers and the banking industry right now.” And that it’s always “good to know a banker.”

With experience in law, finance and government, Vice Chairman Quarles is an especially good banker to know. He spoke to students about his choice to switch between industries, advising them to take advantage of unexpected career opportunities along the way, to step off-track to explore and learn as he has done.

Quarles emphasized the importance of the banking industry, explaining that the “real juice comes from the banker.” Not a single person in the audience could name the first CEOs of AT&T, General Electric or U.S. Steel, but all knew the name of J.P. Morgan, the banker who funded the launch of all three of these major companies. With this anecdote, Quarles showed just how influential banking has been in setting the course for 21st century America. He described it as “the plumbing in a beautiful house,” noting that advancements in technology, science and medicine would not be able to change the world without the support and functionality of banks.

Responding to questions, Quarles offered valuable commentary to attendees on the role of the Federal Reserve, the importance of banking and his own non-traditional path to professional success. Quarles recognized that many students are “figuring out their one small contribution, which is changing the world” and provided a strong argument that for many, the path to achieving this may lie in banking. He cited a “reimagining of the whole financial sector” since 2008 that has led to “real professional changes and real professional advancements.”

The program was sponsored by the Emerging Bank Leaders of the Utah Bankers Association. UBA President Howard Headlee told the group that Utah represents the fourth-largest banking state in the country. He encouraged students and banking professionals to mingle after Quarles’ talk with promised extra credit for students who took “selfies with bankers.”

Written by Molly Coughlin
Corporate Outreach lead student ambassador
Junior, majoring in Marketing at the David Eccles School of Business

  • Looking for something specific?