The Bank Securities Association has named veteran bank brokerage chief L. Rainey Gray as its president.

Mr. Gray is president of Ameristar Capital Markets, the securities arm of First American Corp., Nashville. Before joining the $7 billion-asset banking company last year, he held a similar position at Boatmen's Bancshares, St. Louis.

A longtime member of the trade group, Mr. Gray will serve a one-year term as president. He succeeds Peter J. Succoso, senior vice president in charge of investment products at Wilmington Trust Corp.

The association, based in Corte Madera, Calif., represents financial institutions that are involved in the retail sales of mutual funds and annuities. It was established in 1988, soon after the Comptroller of the Currency gave banks the power to operate full-service brokerages.

With various Glass-Steagall Act reform proposals on the table, this year is one of the most crucial in the association's history, Mr. Gray believes.

As the legislation evolves, care must be taken to avoid constructing "unnecessary firewalls separating the banking and securities industries," he said in a prepared statement. The BSA plans to work in Washington to ensure that "our industry is at all times competitive in the marketplace."

About half of the trade group's 330 members are banks or their brokerage affiliates. The balance are investment product marketing firms, mutual fund companies, and life insurance firms.

The BSA, at its recent annual meeting in Phoenix, also appointed the following officers:

*Vice president: Donald Herrema, senior vice president at Bessemer Trust Co.;

*Secretary: C. McNeill Baker, senior vice president with Barnett Banks Trust Co.;

*Treasurer: William Hawkins, president of Griffin Financial Services, the brokerage arm of Home Savings of America.

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Meridian Bancorp has plucked an executive from its trust subsidiary to oversee compliance for its money management arm.

Linda A. Blanchfield joined Meridian Asset Management as compliance manager and vice president, a new position. She had been a vice president of Delaware Trust Co.

In announcing the appointment, the Reading, Pa., banking company said Ms. Blanchfield's job is to implement, manage, and coordinate a comprehensive compliance program.

Previously, each of the money management arm's business units - including private banking, trust, and mutual funds - had handled its own compliance, a spokeswoman said.

Meridian Asset Management manages about $27.5 billion of assets. The parent company had $15.1 billion of assets at yearend.

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