The Federal Reserve’s general counsel, Scott Alvarez, who helped steer the central bank’s response to the aftermath of the financial crisis, will retire later this year.

The Fed announced on Wednesday that it will begin the search for a successor to Mr Alvarez, who joined the Federal Reserve Board in 1981 as a staff attorney. He was named general counsel in 2004, and also serves as the top lawyer for the monetary policy setting Federal Open Markets Committee.

The central bank said that Mr Alvarez had been a key participant in assembling its response to the financial crisis and putting into place the regulatory reforms passed by Congress in the Dodd-Frank act. His duties also included advising the Fed on a “wide variety of legal and related policy issues,” the Fed said in a statement, in addition to liaising with other regulatory agencies, congressional committees and central banks.

“Scott advised successive chairs, including myself, with deep expertise and utmost integrity,” said Fed chair Janet Yellen. “I am enormously grateful for his wise counsel, calmness and good humor during times of stress, and, above all, his intense dedication to the public interest served by the Federal Reserve.”

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