First Union Corp. has a new man in charge of corporate finance, Charles L. Coltman 3d, the former vice chairman of wholesale banking at CoreStates Financial Corp.
Mr. Coltman, an 18-year veteran of CoreStates, was appointed executive vice president of global corporate banking for the newly emboldened First Union. The Charlotte, N.C.-based banking company completed its merger with Philadelphia-based CoreStates this week.
In his new position, Mr. Coltman oversees First Union Capital Markets, as well as the asset-based lending and international wholesale banking units.
Jerry Schmitt and Ken Thompson, co-heads of First Union Capital Markets, report to Mr. Coltman.
Mark Gamble, president of Wheat First Union, the banking company's equity underwriting arm, reports to Mr. Schmitt and Mr. Thompson.
Mr. Coltman said the reporting structure would remain loose. "Wherever the strength is, that's where people will report."
First Union now has its corporate finance groups spread among three cities. Mr. Coltman will be based in Philadelphiaand spend at least one day a week in Charlotte, where First Union Capital Markets is based. Wheat First Union, the equities unit, remains in Richmond, Va., which was home to the private firm Wheat First Butcher Singer Inc. that was bought in February.
Brad Ball, an equity analyst with Credit Suisse First Boston, said he thought this was "a good workable model."
"People often question the ability to conduct business with disparate locations. But we've seen it happen for years with money-center banks that have international operations," Mr. Ball said.
Mr. Coltman said he will be expanding the staff of almost all the capital markets areas except mergers and acquisitions. First Union bought Bowles Hollowell Connor & Co. in March, boosting its M&A capabilities.
"With Bowles Hollowell, we pretty much have M&A covered," he said.
CoreStates' trading staff was much smaller than First Union's staff, which is based in Charlotte. Mr. Coltman said many of the CoreStates traders in Philadelphia and in a smaller Florida operation were given the option to move to Charlotte.
"But it did mean some reductions in the CoreStates work force, particularly in Florida," where a trading operation with a staff of about 50 was based, Mr. Coltman said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Coltman said he hopes to strengthen the research staff at Wheat First Union, hiring people who are well known in the industry.
As for asset-based lending, analysts agreed that CoreStates brought some new lending specialties to the merger with First Union, including transportation and equipment leasing, retail, education, and beverage and bottling.
The nation's 21st-largest bank holding company also brought a large corporate client base to the merger.
Mr. Coltman said the best aspect of this merger for him was the ability to provide these clients with one-stop-shopping corporate finance.
The specialized lending groups will be headquartered in Charlotte or Philadelphia, wherever the stronger group resided before the merger, according to Mr. Coltman.
CoreStates had very little in the way of capital markets capabilities. First Union, by contrast, has a developed debt and equity underwriting capability.
"I'm going to be spending a lot of time the next year and a half calling customers to make sure they really do understand our new capabilities," Mr. Coltman said.
CoreStates also had an international trade finance unit and provided financial services to correspondent banks overseas. Mr. Coltman said he hopes to expand the combined bank's international wholesale banking capabilities to provide capital markets services to overseas banks with operations in the United States.