Unionbancal Corp. has reshuffled the risk-procedures oversight group it created in July.

Michael L. LaRusso, the former Citigroup Inc. compliance executive appointed in July to head the risk monitoring group, will leave by Jan. 1, a spokesman said. His position, though not stated as such at the time, was understood to be a temporary one, the spokesman said.

William J. Stolte, a general auditor, has been named deputy head and is expected to become group head after Mr. LaRusso's departure from Unionbancal, whose principal unit is Union Bank of California.

Mr. LaRusso, who has been a consultant to Unionbancal since January, will work with Mr. Stolte through the transition.

Unionbancal, which is mostly owned by Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, started the risk-procedures group after revealing in its second-quarter results that nonperforming assets were $229 million, up 56% against the previous quarter.

According to Mr. Stolte, a former Deloitte & Touche consultant and chief bank examiner for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the group has been getting feedback and rolling out the concept of a risk management structure that will be overlaid across all aspects of the company "to bring all risks to a focal point."

Implementation is expected to begin in early 2001.

Campbell Chaney, an analyst with Sutro & Co., San Francisco, said the change could bring more clarity to Unionbancal's credit portfolio. In the wake of the second-quarter disclosure the company's stock has traded down, and Wall Street has sought more information about its loan book and the extent of credit quality problems in its syndicated loan portfolio.

Mr. LaRusso is not the only recent Unionbancal hire on the way out. Baghdo Akay, another former Deloitte & Touche consultant who joined the company as chief credit examiner in July, is leaving by yearend to "pursue other professional opportunities." Nancy Crooks has assumed his duties on an interim basis.

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