ANDREW STUDDERT President, First Interstate of Southern Nevada, Las Vegas

After seeing the doors at one of his branches being closed on customers who arrived a few seconds after the scheduled 4 p.m. closing, Andrew Studdert quickly issued an edict: All Las Vegas-area branches of First Interstate Bancorp would offer a 10-minute grace period on opening and closing times.

"That," says the 35-year-old president of First Interstate's Southern Nevada unit, "is the kind of customer satisfaction banks have to try to give."

Mr. Studdert has learned plenty about customer service--and firsthand. He put himself through college working as a clerk at Sears, where he once allowed the return of a stereo bought five years earlier after the customer belatedly discovered it was not what he ordered.

He also worked briefly as a teller for a thrift in Northern California as part of a management training program.

Mr. Studdert joined First Interstate in 1984 after spending nearly five years in various posts at Bay View Federal Savings and Loan Association outside San Francisco.

Despite his relative youth, Mr. Studdert's experience is fairly diversified.

He has overseen First Interstate's mortgage unit and its electronic banking division. He also was senior vice president for consumer banking, operations, and information services. In that capacity he got a close look at the processing side, heading up First Interstate's committee that folded 11 data centers into two.

Before he took over the company's Southern Nevada operations, Mr. Studdert was executive vice president and manager of retail banking. He was responsible for launching a 24-hour telephone banking service at First Interstate's subsidiary banks.

Mr. Studdert, who holds a bachelor's degree in history from San Francisco State University, also backed a successful group of television advertisements featuring real First Interstate employees. "That gave us a sense of the personal touch," he says.

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