Comerica has hired John Buchanan as its executive vice president of legal affairs.

Buchanan, 52, joined the Dallas company Monday and will report to Chairman and Chief Executive Ralph Babb, according to a press release. The $69.9 billion-asset Comerica plans to promote Buchanan to executive vice president of governance, regulatory relations and legal affairs Jan. 1.

Buchanan will succeed Jon Bilstrom, who had held the three-pronged job and plans to retire in March.

"Jon Bilstrom has been an invaluable member of Comerica's management team for more than 12 years," Babb said in the release. "Jon Bilstrom and John Buchanan will work closely together over these next several months to ensure a smooth transition. John Buchanan's significant experience as a banking attorney will be a tremendous asset to us going forward."

Buchanan most recently served as senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. He previously held senior management or general counsel positions with Regions Financial, AmSouth Bancorp. and SouthTrust Bank — all in Birmingham, Ala. Buchanan has also served on the board of Mercedes-Benz U.S. International.

Bilstrom joined Comerica in 2003. He previously was president and CEO of the Bar Plan Mutual Insurance Co. and general counsel and secretary at Mercantile Bancorp., both in St. Louis.

Comerica has operations in Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan and Texas.

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