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Boshart, Ex-Citibanker, Promoted at Bank One

CEO Jamie Dimon continues to rework the executive ranks at Bank One Corp. The former president of Citigroup Inc., who has reached into the talent pool of his old company to fill key positions at Bank One, has just put an alumnus of the New York bank in charge of Bank One's newly consolidated commercial banking operation.

James Boshart, 56, came to Bank One in September 2000 from Citigroup, where he had been co-CEO of Citi's European investment bank, Schroder Salomon Smith Barney. (Dimon had headed the Salomon Smith Barney unit.)

Under the new management structure, Boshart's duties have been considerably expanded, although his title remains executive vice president. In addition to his responsibilities as head of corporate banking, capital markets, and international, he has been put in charge of middle market lending and treasury management. Middle-market lending had been headed by David Bolger, who has left the bank. Boshart and Bolger had been co-equals.

Bolger, 44, had been with Bank One since earning his M.B.A. at Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management in 1980. He is quoted as having said it was "time to step off the corporate ladder for a while and figure out what to do for the rest of my life." Thomas Kelly, spokesman for Bank One, says, "David did a great job for us for 21 years."

Larry Helm, 54, has been named to replace Bolger as executive vice president of middle market banking, and will report to Boshart. Bank One's middle market business provides financial services to 18,000 companies that have annual revenues of between $5 million and $250 million. It has $34 billion in loans outstanding to these firms. Helm is moving to Chicago from Bank One's Dallas offices, where he oversaw the middle market activities for the bank in Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma.

"Bringing together all of commercial banking allows us to leverage Jim's tremendous leadership and will make it easier to rationalize and streamline our company," said Dimon, in a statement. Corporate and middle-market banking already shared deposit systems, capital markets, cash management, profitability systems and e-commerce initiatives.

In the second quarter, commercial lending produced earnings of $167 million, out of a total $664 million. Dimon came to the $270 billion-asset Bank One as CEO in March 2000, with a mandate to shake things up. The bank had been experiencing disappointing earnings. Some speculation is that Dimon's hard-driving, abrasive New York style doesn't always sit well with the Midwestern bankers at Bank One, prompting some to move on.

His success in attracting former colleagues from Citigroup indicates, however, that he's liked and inspires loyalty. Among the hires from Citigroup are Charles Scharf, 36, a protégé of Dimon who came aboard Bank One as chief financial officer in June 2000. Michael Cavanaugh, senior vice president for strategic planning at Bank One, had been chief administrative officer at Salomon Smith Barney.

Boshart declined to talk with U.S. Banker about his plans at Bank One. "He never gives interviews," says company spokesman Kelly.