Commerce Bancorp Inc. in Cherry Hill, N.J., has hired Joel L. Naroff to be chief economist.

In his newly created post, Mr. Naroff is to advise Commerce customers on domestic and international economics issues and to analyze local, national, and global financial trends.

He will report to Robert Falese, executive vice president and chief lending officer.

He came to Commerce from First Union Corp. in Philadelphia where he was chief economist. Earlier Mr. Naroff was at First Fidelity Bancorp and Fidelity Bank in Philadelphia.

Before entering the banking industry, he was a professor in the School of Management at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst for 10 years and a faculty member at Northeastern University in Boston.

Commerce Bancorp has $5.6 billion of assets and 102 offices.

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