Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. named David W. Nelms of MBNA Corp. president and chief operating officer of the Discover card organization, Novus Services Inc.

Effective Sept. 21, Mr. Nelms will succeed Thomas R. Butler, who industry analysts said was asked by Morgan Stanley chairman Philip J. Purcell to step down because of lackluster performance of the flagship Discover brand.

Mr. Nelms, 37, was at MBNA seven years, most recently as vice chairman in charge of direct mail marketing.

His arrival at the Novus unit may signal a more aggressive marketing strategy, said Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. analyst Moshe Orenbuch. MBNA is known for its success in affinity credit cards and Novus has yet to establish a strong brand besides Discover.

Mr. Nelms is an MBA graduate from Harvard Business School and worked at the consulting firm Bain & Co. One of MBNA's top 30 executives, he helped to launch the company's operations in the United Kingdom and its platinum plus card.

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