Phillip J. Riese, president of American Express Co.'s U.S. consumer card business, is leaving to become chief executive of Optimark Technologies Inc., a start-up technology company.

The 18-year Amex veteran is to be succeeded Nov. 1 by Alfred F. Kelly Jr., 40, formerly executive vice president and general manager of U.S. consumer card marketing.

Analysts were surprised by Mr. Riese's departure but said they did not think it reflected trouble in the company.

Mr. Riese's new firm, based in Jersey City, has a patent on an electronic securities trading system that will be launched on the Pacific Exchange this year.

Mr. Kelly, an 11-year veteran of Amex, will report to Kenneth I. Chenault, president and chief operating officer.

- Lisa Fickenscher

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