The Financial Accounting Foundation has appointed Steven E. Buller, the managing director and former CFO of the investment management firm BlackRock, as the new chairman of the Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Council, a key advisory group for the Financial Accounting Standards Board, which the FAF oversees.
Buller’s term begins on Feb. 1, 2014, and concludes on Dec. 31, 2015.
FASAC advises FASB on technical issues related to the board’s agenda, project priorities and other issues. Buller succeeds Charles H. Noski, a retired vice chairman of Bank of America, whose term as FASAC chairman concluded on Dec. 31, 2013. During his term, Noski oversaw a survey of FASB constituents on which projects the board should focus on for its future standard-setting agenda. At a meeting Wednesday, FASB’s board member voted to eliminate a number of projects that had been on the agenda, based on feedback from the survey (see FASB Resets Its Future Priorities).
Buller’s appointment was announced Thursday by Jeffrey J. Diermeier, who chairs the FAF board of trustees. The FAF is responsible for the oversight, administration, and financing of FASB and its counterpart for setting accounting standards for state and local governments, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board.
“During his distinguished career, Steve Buller has had a wide range of oversight responsibilities related to areas including auditing, investing, corporate governance, and valuation,” Diermeier said in a statement. “His diverse experience will be a tremendous asset to the FASAC in its mission to provide input to the FASB.”
Buller plans to retire from BlackRock early next month after nine years with the firm. As CFO from 2005 to 2007, he oversaw BlackRock’s $10 billion acquisition of Merrill Lynch Investment Managers. His other leadership positions within the firm included global director of corporate and investment company accounting policy and oversight of internal audit. Buller also was responsible for corporate tax and control groups, and served on the government relations committee overseeing relationships with the FASB, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, and the Securities and Exchange Commission. He currently is a member of the Standing Advisory Group of the PCAOB.
Prior to joining BlackRock, Buller was a senior partner at Ernst & Young, serving as its U.S. and global director of asset management services from 1988 to 2005. In this role, he was responsible for global audit assurance, tax and advisory teams that served mutual funds, hedge funds, private equity firms and funds, investment advisors, and advisory businesses. He was also EY’s liaison with the SEC Division of Investment Management, and the coordinating audit partner on initial public registrations for multiple companies.
“On behalf of the FASB, I’m pleased to welcome Steve to his new position as chairman of the FASAC,” said FASB chairman Russell G. Golden. “We look forward to the insights and expertise he will bring to the Council in its role to advise the FASB on issues of importance to our stakeholders.”
A CPA in New York, Buller received his MBA in accounting and finance at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.