John Thain

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John Thain
Thain pic.jpg
Occupation Chairman and CEO
Employer CIT Group
Location New York

John Thain is chairman and chief executive officer of CIT Group, a financial holding company that provides loans to small and mid-market businesses.[1] Thain will retire as CEO of the company on March 31, 2016 but will remain on as chairman.[2]

He was previously the CEO of Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc., after heading the New York Stock Exchange from January 2004 to December 2007. He took the NYSE through its initial public offering and helped to push it fully into the electronic trading era.[3]

Thain became head of global banking, securities and wealth management at Bank of America after BofA acquired Merrill Lynch in September 2008, but he was ousted in January 2009 when BofA discovered surprise losses at the brokerage from mortgages and toxic debt. [4]

Thain engineered the sale of 95-year-old Merrill Lynch & Co. to Bank of America Corp. in September of 2009, [5] a $50 billion deal that attempted to create a bank offering everything from fixed income trading to credit card lending.[6] The next month Bank of America chairman and chief executive officer Ken Lewis announced that Thain would have a major role at the combined companies.[7]


Thain headed up Merrill Lynch from Dec. 1, 2007 to January 1, 2009. He replaced Stan O'Neal.[8][9]

Before taking over at Merrill Lynch, Thain was CEO of NYSE Euronext from June 2006 to December 2007, following the NYSE-Euronext merger. [10] He joined the New York Stock Exchange in January 2004, succeeding John Reed, who had served as chairman and CEO of NYSE since the resignation of Richard Grasso. Thain brought electronic trading to the NYSE and transformed it into a public company before overseeing the acquisition of Euronext as well as the merger with Archipelago Holdings.

Before joining the NYSE, Thain was president and chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. from July 2003, and was president and co-chief operating officer from May 1999 through June 2003. He also had been a director since 1998. Thain was appointed as president and co-chief operating officer of The Goldman Sachs Group, L.P., in 1999. From 1994 to 1999, he served as CFO and head of operations, technology and finance. From 1995 to 1997, he was also co-chief executive officer for Goldman's European operations.

Thain joined Goldman Sachs in 1979 upon graduating from Harvard. He started out in corporate finance, then went to investment banking. His rise at Goldman accelerated when he helped launch a mortgage-backed securities division, reporting to Jon Corzine. By 1990, Thain had become treasurer at Goldman and four years later he rose to chief financial officer.[11] Thain, along with several other Goldman executives, eventually ousted Corzine.


Thain is a member of The MIT Corporation, the Dean's Advisory Council – MIT/Sloan School of Management, INSEAD – U.S. National Advisory Board, the James Madison Council of the Library of Congress and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's International Capital Markets Advisory Committee. He is also a member of the Business Roundtable, French-American Foundation and a governor of the New York-Presbyterian Foundation, Inc., a trustee of New York-Presbyterian Hospital and a general trustee of Howard University.


Thain has an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MBA from Harvard. He grew up in Antioch, Illinois, north of Chicago.