Amsouth Bancorp., Birmingham, Ala., has named a new chief financial officer.

Sloan D. Gibson 4th has taken on the additional assignment, succeeding Kristen M. Hudak, who said last week that she would retire to spend more time with her family "and in the community while exploring other options."

Mr. Gibson, 44, will continue to oversee commercial banking and credit policy as Amsouth's senior executive vice president.

He rises to Amsouth's top financial post just as the market is turning up the heat, analysts said. Many market watchers said $18 billion-asset Amsouth could fall prey to Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Wachovia Bank Corp. or Atlanta-based SunTrust Corp. in the next big round of mergers in the South.

Amsouth could fetch a price of $60 per share, or $4.9 billion-a merger that would be richer than the 1995 combination of First Union Corp. and First Fidelity Bancorp., said Hal Schroeder, an analyst at Keefe Bruyette & Woods. Amsouth shares were trading at $46 late Monday, down $1.62.

Ms. Hudak, 45, joined Amsouth in 1995. Before that she was chief operating officer at the now-defunct Consolidated Bank of Miami. She began her career in 1975 at Southeast Banking Corp., Miami, and rose to chief financial officer.

Mr. Gibson joined Amsouth in 1992 from Bank South in Atlanta, where he was in charge of commercial lending, corporate trust, retail banking, and loan administration. He began his career at First Union in Charlotte, N.C.

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