First Tennessee National Corp. has reorganized its finance division into two units, and Susan Bies has relinquished her job as chief financial officer to mergers and acquisitions chief Eb Thomas.

Ms. Bies, 47, will become executive vice president of risk management and chairwoman the asset liability committee. A 15-year veteran of First Tennessee, she had been CFO since 1984.

Mr. Thomas, 46, joined the Memphis-based bank in 1990 as tax manager and was appointed manager of corporate development, which includes mergers and acquisitions. His corporate finance and accounting background includes stints with Holly Farms Corp. and Arthur Andersen & Co.

Under the reorganization announced Tuesday, Mr. Thomas, now a senior vice president, has accounting, the controller, tax management, corporate development, cost systems, and treasury all reporting to him. Ms. Bies has risk management, the asset/liability committee, internal audit and regulatory relations.

Chief executive officer Ralph Horn described Ms. Bies' replacement by Mr. Thomas as a reorganization necessitated by the rapid growth of the company. First Tennessee has $10.5 billion in assets, with nationally ranked bond trading and mortgage banking subsidiaries.

"We're a company that, when you look at our specialty business lines and what kind of revenue production we get from those business lines, is really a lot bigger in scope than what our asset size would show," Mr. Horn said.

"Sue Bies is very, very talented and she fits very well into that asset/liability management side, making sure that we're doing the things we need to do to manage our net interest margin and to manage the company's interest rate sensitivity. With a company our size and with those diverse lines of business, that's a full-time job."

Mr. Horn added, "I don't look at it as a demotion at all. I look at it as a splitting up of the finance division that is supporting and controlling a much larger, a much more diverse company than we were a few years ago."

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