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First Republic Bank, a San Francisco division of Merrill Lynch Bank and Trust Co., has hired Darren Huston as a senior relatioship manager.

Mr. Huston has 16 years of financial services experience. Before joining First Republic, he was a branch manager for Countrywide Home Loans Inc. in Oakland, Calif.


Bank of America Corp. has hired Alma Banuelos as a market trust executive and Pamela Rhodes as a private client adviser for its U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management.

Ms. Banuelos was a senior vice president and regional trust manager for Los Angeles at Wells Fargo Bank.

She will be based in Los Angeles and will report to Mike Dowling, the U.S. Trust West division trust executive.

Ms. Rhodes was a commercial real estate manager for Stable Partners LLC, which she cofounded.

She will be based in Seattle and will report to Peter Joers, the U.S. Trust market executive for the state of Washington.


NEW ENGLANDState Street Global Advisors, the investment management arm of State Street Corp. of Boston, has hired Paul Escobar as the head of U.S. business development for its insurance asset management team.

He will report to Karen Kruck, a senior managing director and the head of the insurance unit.

Mr. Escobar was a managing director and the chief investment officer at Sapers & Wallack Inc. of Newton, Mass.


MIDDLE ATLANTICPrudential Financial Inc. of Newark, N.J., has promoted John R. Strangfeld to chairman and chief executive officer.

He will succeed the retiring Arthur F. Ryan as the CEO on Jan. 1 and as the chairman in May. Mr. Strangfeld has 30 years of experience at Prudential. He is currently the vice chairman in charge of the company's U.S. businesses.

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