By John Williams
Appointed: September 13, 2005
Term expires: March 1, 2017
For most immersed in the world of big business, first is certainly not the worst. But for Russel Gould, the rhyme rings true: second is surely the best.
Russell Gould is second in command not only on the UC Board of Regents, where he serves as Vice-Chairman, but also at Wachovia Bank, where he serves as Senior Vice- President.
Wachovia Bank—the fourth largest bank in America—currently estimates its holdings at over $700 billion, and is currently rated number 46 on the Fortune 500 list of the top 50 companies in America. As Gould stated in a press release, “Wachovia is committed to fashioning a large role in California’s dynamic future, and I’m proud to be a part of their leadership team.”
The relationship seems reciprocal, as Darryl Fluhme, president of Wachovia Bank, is as equally proud of Gould, as Gould is of Wachovia, “Russ’s government and corporate background makes him an ideal candidate to lead our business development strategies in the state.”
“The state” in question would be our state, California. And as for Gould’s “government background,” he has not only held a seat on the governing body of our university, but has also served as director of the Department of Finance for the State of California, and before that he was the secretary of the Health and Welfare Agency. In between these two stints, he oversaw $5 billion in trust fund money at the J. Paul Getty Foundation, while simultaneously giving business advice to Metropolitan West (MetWest) financial advisors.
Since Wachovia Bank bought MetWest, Gould has moved into a new position: overseeing the creation of Wachovia’s large role in California’s future. According to Trey Davis, a representative of the U.C. Regents, “[Regents] appointments are made on the basis of a person’s experience and expertise that they bring to the board, their involvement in educational issues, and their record of and commitment to public service.”
It’s hard to imagine how Gould finds the time to fit this into his business schedule.