If there was a memo explaining to William Isaac ’69 that he could start to slow down a bit at this stage in his career, he never received it.
Isaac, who chaired the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation during the volatile years of 1981 through 1985, was recently named the new chairman of Fifth Third Bancorp’s Board of Directors, published his first book this summer, and continues to chair the global financial services group of a leading financial consulting firm. In addition to being a regular columnist for The American Banker, Forbes and CNBC, Isaac serves on boards of several other businesses and nonprofit organizations. In addition, he has two grown children and two younger ones: ages 9 and 7.
“I’m at a stage in my life when I wouldn’t do anything that I didn’t enjoy,” he said. “I want to have a full and active life as long as I can. I have young children and they keep me active. I can’t see any need to sit back in a rocking chair and maybe play two or three games of tennis a week. That’s just not me.”
Isaac had done consulting work for Fifth Third Bank several times over the past eight years. When the company decided to separate its chief executive and chairman roles, it contacted Isaac to provide a list of people who he felt could fill the board chairman role. After a few months of searching, Fifth Third returned to Isaac and asked if he would consider the role.