Bruce G. Willison is a Professor of Management and Former Dean (1999–2005) of UCLA Anderson School of Management. His appointment in 1999 came after a distinguished 26-year career in the banking industry, most recently serving as the president and chief operating officer of Home Savings of America and H.F. Ahmanson & Co.
While dean, UCLA Anderson’s faculty was ranked number one in “Intellectual Capital” by Business Week and overall the school placed in the top ten of U.S. News and World Report’s rankings.
Mr. Willison began his banking career at Bank of America, where he held several corporate and lending positions in Los Angeles and Mexico City. He joined First Interstate Bancorp in 1979 as a strategic planner and held various executive positions at the bank and its holding company, including chairman and chief executive officer of First Interstate Bank of Oregon, and chairman, president, and chief executive officer of First Interstate Bank of California, as well as vice chairman of the bank's holding company, First Interstate Bancorp, until 1996. Then, Mr. Willison became the president and chief operating officer of H.F. Ahmanson and Co., the parent of Home Savings of America, one of the largest savings banks in the country.
Though his appointment marked his first academic post, Mr. Willison had had a long association with Anderson, serving on its Board of Visitors since 1993. He also currently serves as a director of Health Net, Inc., SunAmerica’s annuity fund complex, and Move, Inc.
Mr. Willison and his wife, Gretchen, are active members of the Los Angeles community, providing energy and enthusiasm to a host of organizations.
A native of Riverside, California, Mr. Willison earned a bachelor's degree in economics from UCLA, and an MBA in finance from the University of Southern California, following his service as an officer in the U.S. Navy.