MasterCard International Inc. is beefing up its staff in the Asia-Pacific region, the fastest-growing part of its empire.

The New York-based company has named Donald Van Stone and Brian Thorn, both veterans of U.S. bank companies, to senior vice presidencies, reporting to James A. Cassin. at. the Singapore regional headquarters.

"These hirings are part Of a. continued commitment made in 1990 to build the MasterCard brand and support members in the Asia Pacific region," said Mr. Cassin, regional president.

MasterCard has been enjoying strong growth in the Asia-Pacific region since 1991 and says it has a 50.7% share of total cardholder volume there.

Tremendous Growth

China alone had a 261.5% increase in payment volume last year, to $30.1 billion, and was largely responsible for the association's strides in the region. China ranked second to the United States in sales volume, but its activity is boosted by corporate payments that are not comparable with most credit card network activity around the world.

Mr. Van Stone, 52, was appointed senior vice president and general manager for Southeast Asia.

He was previously president and chief executive of the Greater Austin-San Antonio Corridor Council, a regional economic development group, which serves as an international sales and marketing agency for that part of TeXas.

In his new role, Mr. Van Stone is one of six general managers who report to Mr. Cassin. He will be responsible for all of MasterCard's credit and debit card businesses in eight countries.

Mr. Van Stone succeeded Choo Weng Chuk, who left MasterCard to become a private consultant.

Mr. Van Stone's banking experience includes a 13-year stint with First National Bank of Chicago, which posted him to sever, al places, including Singapore, where he was area manager responsible for commercial banking activities in 14 countries.

He also held senior positions with First Interstate Bank Ltd., a First Interstate Bancorp international unit in Los Angeles, and -- First City Bancorporation of Texas.

He earned an undergraduate degree in physics from Siena College and a master's degree in business from Harvard University.

Mr. Thom was named to the new position of senior vice president of marketing.

Mr. Thorn, 41, is the product manager for MasterCard's brands throughout Asia-Pacific. His responsibilities include promoting MasterCard products and services and working closely with member financial institutions and the nine MasterCard offices in the region.

Many Years in Asia

Mr. Thorn is a former president of Citicorp Card Services -- Japan and worked for American Express for eight years in the United States and in Hong Kong,

Most recently, he was a senior vice president of Credit Partners Inc. in Tokyo.

Mr. Thorn earned a bachelor's degree from Rutgers University and a master's degree in business from New York University.

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