California Gov. Pete Wilson has selected Walter J. Mix 3d to head the state's Department of Financial Institutions.

Upon approval by the state Senate, Mr. Mix would succeed Commissioner Conrad C. Hewitt, who held the post for three years but stepped down in June when his most recent one-year term expired.

Mr. Mix, 39, joined the Department of Financial Institutions in 1993 as senior deputy commissioner and was promoted to deputy commissioner in 1996. In an interview Monday, he said he would try to expand the roles of California financial services companies in international commerce by improving the regulatory environment.

The Department of Financial Institutions oversees all state-chartered banks, thrifts, credit unions, and other financial services companies. The commissioner's job pays about $108,000 a year.

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