Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc., the New York investment banking and brokerage firm, has added two analysts from the Conning & Co. insurance research firm to augment its own research on the industry.

Jeffrey Schuman will focus on the life insurance sector and Clifford H. Gallant on property and casualty insurers, as they did at Hartford, Conn.-based Conning.

Mr. Schuman will be a senior vice president and Mr. Gallant a vice president; each will work in his specialty with a colleague of the same rank.

Mr. Schuman held the rank of vice president at Conning; Mr. Gallant was an analyst.

Bank of New York has hired Richard M. Hisey as senior vice president and group head of mutual fund accounting and administration.He reports to Jeffrey Bieselin, senior vice president of investment accounting.

Mr. Hisey was the chief financial officer for Lexington Global Asset Managers Inc., a Saddle Brook, N.J., asset management and mutual fund company that ReliaStar Financial Corp. of Minneapolis bought in July. While chief financial officer, he also advised Lexington’s broker-dealer subsidiaries and its mutual funds. He has 15 years of financial services experience.

Merrill Lynch & Co. in New York has said it will reassign Mary E. Taylor, its head of human resources since 1998, to lead the private investors business group at Merrill Lynch Investment Managers in February.Ms. Taylor, 39, will remain a senior vice president. She will report to Jeffrey M. Peek, an executive vice president of the firm and the president of Merrill Lynch Investment Managers.

Ms. Taylor had been a managing director in the firm’s health-care group for six years before assuming the human resources post. She had joined Merrill in 1989 as an investment banking associate in its merchant banking, high-yield finance, and corporate finance group. She had begun her financial services career as an analyst in Chase Manhattan Bank’s leveraged buyout group.

Tam Milton will succeed Ms. Taylor as senior vice president of human resources and will become a member of Merrill’s executive management committee.

Mr. Milton, 50, is now deputy president of Merrill Lynch Japan Securities. He joined Merrill in 1975 as an Atlanta-based financial consultant. His later assignments included sales manager in the firm’s New Orleans office; resident vice president of its Montgomery, Ala., and Greensboro, N.C., offices; and district director for the Carolinas.

And next month Merrill will move Jeffrey L. Humber, now its managing director of public finance and the head of its Relationship Banking group, to lead its newly formed global diversity group, which advises the firm’s executive committee on global practices and policies.

He will also be responsible for the firm’s corporate responsibility group, which encourages the firm’s community involvement.

Mr. Humber will report to Ms. Taylor and the firm’s executive committee.

Before assuming the Relationship Banking post Mr. Humber had been co-chief executive officer of Merrill Lynch South Africa for two years. Earlier he had worked in the firm’s municipal markets group for 16 years.

SOUTHWESTCompuBank, an online banking company based in Houston, Tex., has hired Terry T. Puster as marketing director. He was also named a senior vice president.

Mr. Puster was a senior vice president and the marketing director at One Valley Bancorp. in Charleston, W.Va. He has 20 years of banking and financial services experience, including senior management posts as a vice president and the Houston retail marketing manager at Texas Commerce Bank in Dallas, a subsidiary of Chase Manhattan Bank.

WESTBank of America Corp. has put Brad Dinsmore, who was its California marketing chief, in charge of the company’s Premier Banking program, which serves high-net-worth clients.

He succeeded Kim Burdick, who was promoted to the newly created post of nationwide consumer planning and integration executive for the marketing division.

Mr. Dinsmore continues to report to Barbara Desoer, director of marketing.

Before becoming California marketing chief Mr. Dinsmore had been the Orange County, Calif., sales manager. Still earlier he had managed banking centers in Orange and San Diego counties. He joined the old Bank of America in 1988.

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