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ACCOUNTING OVERSIGHT PANEL ELECTS TIAA-CREF CEO JOHN H. BIGGS AS NEW BOARD MEMBER
STAMFORD, CT, May 22, 2001 -- The Public Oversight Board, the self-regulatory body which oversees accounting firms that audit the financial statements of public corporations, announced today it has elected John H. Biggs, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of TIAA-CREF, as a member of the Board.
A native of St. Louis, Mr. Biggs is an economist and actuary with a distinguished business and academic career, including service with a major accounting organization.
Mr. Biggs has been chairman and CEO of TIAA-CREF (Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association - College Retirement Equities Fund) since 1993. Previously, he had served as President and Chief Operating Officer from 1989 to 1993.
He began his professional career with the General American Life Insurance Company in 1958. In 1977, Mr. Biggs became Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance at Washington University in St. Louis. He was named President and CEO of Centerre Trust Company, St. Louis, in 1985. Mr. Biggs earned an AB degree in classics from Harvard University and a PhD in economics from Washington University.
Charles A. Bowsher, chairman of the Public Oversight Board, said that Mr. Biggs' "distinguished and varied career will serve him well as a member of the POB." Noting that among his many positions, Mr. Biggs serves as a trustee of the International Accounting Standards Committee Foundation, Mr. Bowsher said "this position, coupled with his business and academic background, provides John with an understanding of the accounting profession and its many challenges. The Board looks forward to having the benefit of his knowledge and insight."
Among other positions, Mr. Biggs is a director of the Boeing Company and the Ralston Purina Company and a former chairman of the board of the National Bureau of Economic research. He is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and is a member of the Business-Higher Education Forum, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Council on Foreign Relations. He has published numerous papers on social security, variable annuities, regulation and taxation of pension plans, and demographic effects on pensions.
On the Board, Mr. Biggs replaces Paul H. O'Neill, who resigned when he was named Secretary of the Treasury earlier this year. Mr. Bowsher said that while the POB "is very sorry that it has lost the excellent services of Paul O'Neill, we were delighted that the President recognized his outstanding abilities in naming him Secretary of the Treasury. The country will be well served by this accomplished and talented public servant."
The POB was created in 1977 as an independent private sector body charged with overseeing and reporting on the programs of the SEC Practice Section (SECPS), also created in 1977 by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. The SECPS is composed of accounting firms that audit the financial statements of some 17,000 public corporations that file reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The POB is autonomous; its five board members represent a broad spectrum of business, professional, regulatory, and legislative experience.
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