Among an announcement that it is creating a new board of directors, GMAC Financial Services also announced that current chairman J. Ezra Merkin has resigned, effective as of today.
Merkin has been replaced by Lenard Tessler, a managing director and co-head of private equity at Cerberus Capital Management, GMAC’s majority owner. Merkin had been chairman for two years.
Merkin has been closely tied to Bernard Madoff, the investment adviser charged with orchestrating a $50 billion Ponzi scheme. Through his hedge funds, Merkin had invested billions with Madoff, according to published reports. Merkin is also being sued by former clients.
GMAC’s new board is a condition of it becoming a bank holding company and participating in the Treasury Department’s Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). The new board is to be in place by March 24.