Washington Mutual Inc. has named senior vice president Vicki Bott as head of the newly created consumer direct distribution division in its mortgage banking group.The unit is responsible for fulfilling residential loan applications from Washington Mutual's Web site and call center.

Ms. Bott, who is based in Irvine, Calif., was senior vice president in charge of operations for the mortgage banking group. In that job she was responsible for processing, closing, lending, builder services, productivity, and compliance exams. She has 11 years of mortgage banking experience.

Washington Mutual is based in Seattle and has $188 billion of assets.


Acadian Asset Management in Boston has hired Charles H. Wang as senior research manager.Mr. Wang, 33, was a senior quantitative equity analyst for Putnam Investments in Boston. Before that he held a similar position with Aeltus Investment Management Inc.

Acadian manages $5 billion of assets for clients in the United States, Canada, Japan, and Australia.


Old Kent Financial Corp. in Grand Rapids, Mich., has hired Bank One Corp. executive Rebecca Smith as president of Old Kent Bank East, the southeast Michigan division of its Old Kent Bank.Ms. Smith, 45, was Bank One's commercial banking merger integration director. She spent most of her 22-year banking career in Detroit with Bank One and its predecessors, NBD and First Chicago, concentrating on corporate lending.

She succeeded Daniel Terpsma, who was named the holding company's manager of corporate banking.

He and Ms. Smith were also named executive vice presidents of corporate banking at the company.

Old Kent Financial has $20 billion of assets.

Huntington Bancshares in Columbus, Ohio, has hired Daniel B. Benhase as executive vice president of its private financial group.The job puts him in charge of trust, private banking, brokerage, investment management, and insurance activities at the $29 billion-asset company.

Mr. Benhase held similar responsibilities, also as an executive vice president, at Firstar Corp. of Milwaukee and its Firstar Bank. He had come to Firstar from Fifth Third Bank in Cincinnati, whose brokerage unit he had managed for six years.


Bank of America Corp. has named Catherine P. Bessant, its president of consumer real estate and community development banking, to become president of its Tampa-based Bank of America Florida operation at the end of July.She will succeed Adelaide "Alex" Sink, 52, who will retire then.

Ms. Bessant, 39, joined Bank of America Corp., formerly NationsBank Corp., as a corporate lending officer in 1982 and later become its community investment director for Texas.

In 1998 she was rumored to have been on a short list of possible nominees for the Federal Reserve Board.

Kevin Shannon will succeed her as president of consumer real estate. Mr. Shannon is the technology and operations executive for Bank of America's consumer products.

Ms. Bessant's successor as president of community development banking has not been named.

Centura Banks Inc. in Rocky Mount, N.C., has promoted Charles Frederick to president for western North Carolina and group executive for South Carolina business banking.He was chief executive officer of Centura Insurance Services.

Mr. Frederick came to Centura in 1988 from First Union Corp., where he was a commercial banking manager. Earlier he worked for Wachovia Corp.

Centura has also hired Perry Hendrix as the business banking executive for its western region, which includes markets from Tennessee to the South Carolina border.

Mr. Hendrix was an executive vice president at Century South Banks Inc. in Alpharetta, Ga. Before that he had worked for Centura and its predecessor for 20 years in various positions.

Centura has $11 billion of assets.

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