She is the co-founder and Managing Partner of Federal Financial Analytics, Inc., a privately-held company that since 1985 has provided analytical and advisory services on legislative, regulatory, and public-policy issues affecting financial services companies doing business in the U.S. and abroad. Petrou is a frequent speaker on topics affecting the financial services industry. In addition to testifying before the U.S. Congress, she has spoken before the Federal Reserve Banks of New York, St. Louis, San Francisco, and Chicago, the European Central Bank, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the International Monetary Fund, the Clearing House, the Bank Policy Institute, the Institute of International Bankers, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, the Japanese Diet, and many other governmental, industry and academic groups. Petrou is the author of the book Engine of Inequality, the Fed and the future of wealth in America. She has also authored numerous articles in publications such as the American Banker and the Financial Times, and is frequently quoted as a bank policy expert in the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Politico, the Hill, and other media outlets.
Prior to founding her own firm in 1985, Petrou worked in Washington as an officer at Bank of America, where she began her career in 1977. She is an honors graduate in Political Science from Wellesley College and also was a special student in an honors program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She earned an M.A. in that subject from the University of California at Berkeley, and was a doctoral candidate there. She has served on the boards of banking organizations and now sits as a director on the board of the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, and is the incoming chair of the board of directors of the Foundation Fighting Blindness. In 2019, she and her late husband Basil were named “visionaries” by the Foundation Fighting Blindness and received the Berman award in 2022. These reflect the Petrou’s work not only for vision research, but also development of a new financial instrument that would provide billions for biomedical research in all diseases, disabilities, and disorders.
Basil Petrou (1947-2021)
Basil Petrou is a principal and Managing Partner of Federal Financial Analytics, Inc., providing financial analytical services on legislative and regulatory issues to non-bank financial institutions, insurance companies, mortgage corporations, trade associations, law and public-policy firms.
Previously, Mr. Petrou worked at an investment bank and a financial advisory firm analyzing legal and regulatory requirements for mergers and acquisitions, leveraged buyouts and limited partnerships. He began his career in the U.S. Treasury Department, where he was director of the Office of Capital Markets Legislation, responsible for development and review of federal regulation of commercial banks, savings and loans, securities firms, and capital markets. Subsequently, he spent several years at Mobil Oil Corp. as senior financial advisor responsible for U.S. exploration and producing division project financing, joint venture and acquisition analysis.
Mr. Petrou obtained J.D. and M.B.A. degrees from the University of Chicago after earning a B.A. in Economics from Reed College.
What people are saying about Karen Petrou:
“The sharpest mind analyzing banking policy today — maybe ever.”
— Barbara Rehm, former Editor-in-Chief, American Banker
“One of the most prominent non-governmental voices on financial regulation.”
— Tobias Adrian, Financial Counsellor and Director, Capital Markets Department, The International Monetary Fund
“Widely viewed by both sides of the bank regulation debate as incredibly smart.”
— Stephen Gandel, former Bloomberg Opinion columnist
“She gave a very broad-based view of everything that was going on—how the regulators would work, how Congress would react, and how the media would react. It was typical of her approach and forthrightness.”
— Rodgin Cohen, Senior Chairman, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, re Petrou’s work on a prominent merger
“Whenever I’m writing about banking issues, she’s the first person I call.”
— Joe Nocera, Business Columnist, Bloomberg
“One of the most influential financial regulation experts in the world.”
— Eric Cortellessa, Digital Editor, Washington Monthly
“Karen is a genius. Because of the quality of her work she’s one of the most listened-to people in Washington. Whether Treasury or the House or Senate or the Fed, everyone pays attention to what she says…. Karen Petrou is an extraordinary individual.”
— Lew Ranieri, investor often credited with creating the mortgage bond structure that enabled the modern housing-finance system to emerge