MidSouth Bank in Lafayette, La., has hired Dwight Utz, the corporate vice president of branch distribution planning at PNC Financial Services Group Inc. in Pittsburgh, to run its retail division.

Mr. Utz was also named a senior vice president. He began his banking career in 1972 at CCNB Bank in Camp Hill, Pa., where was a senior vice president and the regional sales executive before PNC bought it in 1993.

MidSouth, a unit of MidSouth Bancorp Inc., has $340 million of assets.


The California Bankers Association in San Francisco has elected Dennis L. Kern, president and chief executive officer of Valley Independent Bank in El Centro, as its chairman.

He succeeded Bill Fike, an executive vice president of Bank of the West in San Francisco.

Mr. Kern, 61, has been the president and the CEO of Valley Independent, a unit of VIB Corp., since 1983. Before that he had worked at Torrey Pines Bank in Solana Beach, Calif. Still earlier he was a senior vice president at American National Bank in Bakersfield, Calif., where he worked for 12 years. (Wells Fargo Bank bought both Torrey Pines and American National in 1990.)

Silicon Valley Bank in Santa Clara, Calif., has hired Brian Araki to be the division manager of investment products and services.He reports to Tim Waterson, manager of the product and services group.

Mr. Araki was a client relationship manager in the Palo Alto corporate services division at Salomon Smith Barney, a unit of Citigroup Inc., where he had worked for seven years. Before that he had been a sales representative at Shappell Industries for two years.

He has eight years of financial services experience.

Silicon Valley Bank is a $5.5 billion-asset subsidiary of Silicon Valley Bancshares.

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