The Financial Services Roundtable named former Rep. Steve Bartlett, 51, its top executive Wednesday. He starts June 7.
The announcement ended the group's search for a successor to Anthony T. Cluff, who announced his resignation in March 1998.
Roundtable members wanted to hire a Capitol Hill veteran to press their legislative agenda. Mr. Bartlett, whose title will be president, served from 1983 to 1991 on the House Banking Committee, where he advocated eliminating the barriers among banking, securities, and insurance companies. He was mayor of Dallas from 1991 to 1995.
Richard M. Whiting, the Roundtable's general counsel and acting executive director, was named permanent executive director.
In addition to handling legal and regulatory issues, Mr. Whiting will oversee the group's day-to-day management, a responsibility previously handled by the group's top executive. He said the change would leave Mr. Bartlett more time to focus on legislation and on the Roundtable's future.
The trade group last month changed its name from the Bankers Roundtable and is considering whether to admit nonbanks as members. The group draws its membership from the 125 largest banking companies.
Mr. Bartlett admitted "figuring out how to invite and include all the financial services companies into a unified organization" will not be easy.
"But if we're going to argue that the barriers should come down in the market and in regulation, we're going to have to bring them down here too."