Union Bank of California in Los Angeles has named executive vice president Linda F. Betzer to lead its newly created operations and customer service group.

She is also the first woman to join the executive management committee of the $33.7 billion asset bank, which is mostly owned by Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi Ltd.

Ms. Betzer, 53, was manager of the bank's customer service units for commercial clients and of commercial loan documentation and operations. She joined the bank in 1970 as an administrative officer and was promoted to executive vice president in 1996.

NEW ENGLANDState Street Research and Management Co. in Boston has rehired John Yannone as vice president and assistant national sales manager.

Mr. Yannone left the company in 1998, after two years there, to be sales vice president and director of inside sales at John Hancock Funds.

Earlier he worked at Putnam Investments as manager of the dealer marketing services group. He has 10 years of financial experience.

State Street Research and Management, a subsidiary of Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. in New York, is a money management firm with $54 billion of assets under management.

MIDDLE ATLANTICThe Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland has promoted Darrell Wittrup, the head of its accounting department, to vice presidential rank.

He joined the bank in 1964 and was promoted to assistant vice president in 1987.

Mr. Wittrup also heads a Federal Reserve System working group that is responsible for standardizing the central bank's Integrated Accounting System.

The Cleveland Fed has also promoted Jerry Schwing to assistant vice president.

Mr. Schwing manages check operations at the bank's Cincinnati office. He joined the bank in 1977.

Credit Suisse First Boston in New York has hired Christopher Miller and Jeffrey Skoglund as vice presidents in its high-yield research group.Mr. Miller will cover the energy sector and Mr. Skoglund the automotive parts and building sectors. Both will report to Brett Levy, Credit Suisse First Boston's global head of high-yield research.

Mr. Miller came from Sanford Bernstein & Co., for which he covered refining and mid-cap stocks. Earlier he was a project engineer at Exxon Corp.

Mr. Skoglund came from Lehman Brothers, where he covered the automotive industry.

SOUTHEASTHibernia National Bank in New Orleans has hired Kenneth J. Chipman as head of strategic planning for its affluent retail market.

He will be a vice president in the credit services department.

Mr. Chipman had been manager of product development at Charleston, W.Va.-based One Valley Bancorp, which BB&T Corp. of Winston-Salem, N.C, is buying. He has 17 years of banking experience.

Hibernia has also hired Lori L. Baldassaro as an assistant vice president for retail and technology.

Ms. Baldassaro will prepare financial analysis reports for product and segment delivery channel management. She was director of grants and contract accounting for Tulane University.

Hibernia National Bank has $15.3 billion of assets.

First Union Securities Inc. in Charlotte, N.C., the investment banking arm of First Union Corp., has hired Joseph Dempsey as head of its telecommunications investment banking group.Mr. Dempsey came from Bear, Stearns & Co., where he was a managing director in the telecom group. Earlier he worked at Goldman, Sachs & Co., and before that at Merrill Lynch & Co.

The parent First Union Corp. meanwhile named Robby L. Russell as charitable-contributions manager for its Middle Atlantic region.

He had been the regional manager of community reinvestment and community development programs since 1996. The region comprises the Carolinas, Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland, and Washington.

Mr. Russell joined First Union in 1990 as a commercial loan officer. He was named community development manager for First Union Tennessee in 1993 and moved to Charlotte in 1996.

Union Planters Bank of Memphis has hired Michael A. Smithies as the vice president of commercial real estate lending for its Florida operations.He will be based in Miami and report to Fernando Martinez, executive vice president of the bank's Florida market.

Mr. Smithies came from First Union National Bank; he was senior vice president and South Florida site manager of the real estate portfolio management division. He has 20 years of real estate banking experience.

Union Planters Bank is a subsidiary of $33 billion-asset Union Planters Corp.

WESTM&I Marshall & Ilsley Trust Company of Arizona,in Phoenix, has named Nancy J. Brooks as a marketing officer.

Ms. Brooks had been a marketing coordinator since joining the company in 1991. She will report to Michael K. McCartney, president and chief executive officer.

The Marshall & Ilsley Corp. subsidiary provides trust and asset management in the Southwest.

Countrywide Home Loans Inc. in Calabasas, Calif., has promoted G. Richard Bright to executive vice president of its developing markets division.He will be in charge of fair-lending and affordable housing programs.

Mr. Bright was a senior vice president in the home equity lending division. He joined Countrywide 11 years ago as a regional vice president in its retail division.

Countrywide Home Loans is a subsidiary of Countrywide Credit Industries.

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