Assistant corporate counsel Signet Banking Corp., Richmond

Mark Gregory sees a silver lining in the growing cloud of regulation facing banks.

"That's one of the big reasons I have a job," he says. His job entails not only tracking laws and regulations affecting the $11 billion-asset holding company, but also limiting their growth through aggressive lobbying.

And after working as a lawyer in the insurance industry and private practice, the 37-year-old executive says he has finally found a field that satisfies his enormous appetite for new challenges.

"I get excited about change, he says. "I got into banking at a very good time. There are no gold old days."

Mr. Gregory has worked at Signet's headquarters in Richmond for the past five years. One of his efforts there has been developing a computerized data base of lawmakers' votes on key issues. Having instant access to a voting record makes deciding whether to donate much easier, he says.

"And we've said no a lot more, because now we know exactly their positions," he says.

Mr. Gregory has studied both business and law at the University of Richmond. Colleagues call him personable, even-keeled, and well-liked. They say his maturity in his position at Signet belies his youth.

"Given that he has not been in the retail side of banking, he's a good sounding board, says Bruce Whitehurst of Jefferson National Bank, who is acquainted with Mr. Gregory through the Virginia Bankers Association. "He asks Questions and comes up with ideas that we would not have thought of otherwise."

Mr. Gregory has become active in the trade group. Both Signet and the VBA have made lobbying for burden reduction a majority, he says.

"A huge portion of that is education," he says.

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