First Union Corp. named Christopher Oddleifson, the head of Signet Bank's consumer finance division, president of its home equity unit.

Mr. Oddleifson will take the post after the First Union-Signet merger closes in November.

First Union Home Equity Bank has been without a president since late March when Gregory M. Hining left unexpectedly, saying he wanted a change in lifestyle.

Mr. Oddleifson has been with Signet since 1990. He has been responsible for product and service areas in the bank's branch network, consumer credit businesses, investment management businesses, and consumer marketing.

Previously, he was a consultant at Booz, Allen & Hamilton.

"Chris will play an integral role in the continued growth of First Union's home equity lending business," said Jim Maynor, president of First Union Mortgage Corp., in a prepared statement. "He is a strong leader and brings a solid background in direct-to-customer marketing."

First Union Home Equity Bank operates 116 branches in 35 states and has supplied equity financing to more than 113,000 homeowners.

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