Willard C. Butcher
Butcher joined Chase National Bank, predecessor to Chase Manhattan, in 1947 and spent his early career in Chase’s midtown Manhattan branch system. He later headed Chase’s retail and corporate business for midtown Manhattan and subsequently moved to the international department in 1969, where he headed operations in Europe and sub-Saharan Africa, before becoming executive vice president in charge of Chase’s international operations. After a short tenure as Chase’s vice chairman in charge of worldwide planning, expansion and diversification, Butcher was named president and chief operating officer of the bank in 1972, reporting to David Rockefeller, then chairman and CEO.
Together, Rockefeller and Butcher expanded Chase into an institution operating in more than 50 countries – including Russia, Egypt and China, where American banks hadn’t previously operated—through direct branches, 54 foreign subsidiaries and associated banks and trust companies. When Butcher retired from Chase in 1991, the bank employed 41,500 people around the world. He was also vice chairman of the Chase International Advisory Committee.
Butcher, an outspoken advocate of private enterprise, is active in public policy and is widely known for his candid views on the need for broad-scale revision of U.S. banking laws. He was particularly active with the American Enterprise Institute, serving as chairman of its Board of Trustees for a number of years . He also served for two years as member of President Ronald Reagan’s Grace Commission.
Butcher was a member of several corporate boards of directors, including ASARCO, Inc., Celgene Corporation, Firestone Tire and Rubber, International Paper Corporation, Olympia & York Companies (USA) and Texaco, Inc. He was a member of the Advisory Committee of Daimler-Benz of North America, member of the Advisory Board of Banco Nazionale del Lavoro and a member of the Business Council. He also served as vice chairman of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc., a board member of the Museum of Modern Art and the New York Zoological Society, and was a Fellow Emeritus of Brown University and trustee of the Business Committee for the Arts, Inc.
Born October 25, 1926 in Bronxville, NY, Butcher began his higher education in 1944 at Middlebury College in Vermont. Discharged from the U.S. Navy in 1946, he enrolled at Brown University, graduating in 1947 with a B.A. degree, magna cum laude, and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He was awarded honorary Doctor of Laws degrees from Brown, Pepperdine and Tulane Universities and an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Pace University.
Butcher died of cancer on August 25, 2012, at the age of 85.
- "Chase Is Now Bill Butcher's Bank". New York Times. April 5, 1981. Retrieved 2012-08-24.
- Chappatta, Brian, "Willard Butcher, Former Chase CEO Who Expanded Bank, Dies at 85", Bloomberg, August 27, 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-28.
- "New President at Chase". Time magazine. October 23, 1972. Retrieved 2008-08-04.
Thomas G. Labrecque
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