Leon Levy, who launched the first Oppenheimer mutual fund in 1959 and founded the company’s now-famous mutual fund unit the following year, will retire this month as chairman.

Clayton Yeutter will assume the role of chairman of the board, overseeing the company’s 31 funds, on Jan. 1. Yeutter has served on the board since 1991 and was a U.S. Trade Representative from 1985 to 1989. He was also U.S. Secretary of Agriculture from 1981 to 1991 and was president and CEO of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

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