NEW YORK - MasterCard International Inc. has promoted from within to fill several key positions in its U.S. region.

In perhaps the most closely watched of the appointments, because it relates directly to MasterCard's dealings with financial institutions, William Brennan was named senior vice president of member relations.

Mr. Brennan, who headed MasterCard's western operation from a base in San Francisco since 1989, replaces Charles Wardell, who recently left for Citicorp's Diners Club International.

2 Promoted in Acceptance Area

Thomas Wright was promoted from vice president to senior vice president of the western region member relations office, succeeding Mr. Brennan.

MasterCard also promoted Fred Gore to senior vice president of the U.S. acceptance business, which promotes acceptance of the card for payment. He replaces Bob Frechette, who resigned last week.

Jody Hancock was named senior vice president for strategic planning and business development within the U.S. acceptance business.

She will continue to lead MasterCard's new acceptance initiatives.

|Doing Very Well'

MasterCard's U.S. president, Peter S.P. Dimsey, said the announcements were well received by members of the U.S. region business committee who met in Palm Beach, Fla., on Friday.

"We're doing very well in the marketplace," he said, referring to MasterCard's recent gains in market share from Visa U.S.A.

"I was convinced we needed to find the best combination of skills in dealing with our members."

Searched Outside Its Ranks

Mr. Dimsey said member relations is critical to MasterCard.

"As [member institutions] tend to get more sophisticated in their card business, and as their card business gets bigger, we need to put more resources in servicing them," Mr. Dimsey said.

He added that MasterCard searched outside its ranks to fill the member relations position, ideally to find someone with broad experience in all aspects of the payments business, including credit and debit.

|Strong Candidates'

"I new going in we had strong candidates internally," he said in a telephone interview. "But even if we went outside we couldn't beat Bill Brennan."

Mr. Brennan brings 29 years of retail banking experience, encompassing automated teller machines, debit, credit, and other products.

He has been with MasterCard four years. He assumes responsibility for MasterCard's four regional offices and will report to Mr. Dimsey.

|A Consummate Team Player'

"In a company that is focusing on the total payment system business," Mr. Brennan said, "I believe I am well prepared."

Mr. Brennan said his strength lies in consensus-building, which Mr. Dimsey said was a key to his selection.

"Bill has been a consummate team player," Mr. Dimsey said. "He's very good at getting people to work together."

"I want to be sure that we continue to be partners in profitability with the banks," Mr. Brennan said. "That really is the key."

Mr. Gore also will report to Mr. Dimsey. He was previously vice president of acquirer relations, dealing with the merchant community.

Extensive Experience

A former vice president at Shawmut Bank, Mr. Gore has extensive experience in card acceptance and acquiring.

"It's very apparent that merchants are increasingly looking for credit and debit acceptance," Mr. Dimsey said.

MasterCard's focus on dual acceptance of credit and debit helped gain entree into new markets, such as grocery stores and the U.S. Postal Service, he added.

Mr. Dimsey, who has recently been raising his profile as MasterCard's U.S. chief executive, is putting his stamp on the senior ranks while praising its members for jobs well done. He said several additional appointments could be announced this week.

"I feel strongly that we have a very good team now," he said. "This is a visible sign that hard work does get rewarded here."

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