MBIA Inc. said late yesterday that Richard L. Weill has been elected president of the company and head of its municipal bond insurance, international, and structured finance businesses.

David H. Elliott, MBIA's president since 1987, will retain the titles of chairman of the board and chief executive officer, a company press release said.

MBIA Inc. is the holding company for Municipal Bond Investors Assurance Corp., the largest financial guaranty insurer.

Weill joined MBIA Inc. in 1989 as general counsel and most recently was executive vice president of the legal division.

In his new post, Weill will also head the firm's research and business development division, with the exception of marketing services.

Robert R. Godfrey, executive vice president formerly in charge of research and business development, will assume responsibility for marketing services. The department's mission has been expanded "to create increased awareness of MBIA among major institutional buyers of municipal bonds, structured finance securities, and European obligations," the press release said.

As further part of the management restructuring, Louis G. Lenzi, general counsel and secretary, will report directly to Elliott, an MBIA spokesman said.

Finally, James E. Malling, an executive vice president, assumes responsibility for MBIA's human resources division, in addition to his ongoing role as head of corporate marketing, investment management activities, and corporate development.

"Dick Weill has contributed in very significant ways to MBIA's leadership and performance through a period of significant growth," Elliott said in a prepared statement. "His appointment, and the other changes made today, reflect the growth of our bond insurance and investment management businesses."

Separately, MBIA Inc.'s board of directors said yesterday that the firm is raising its quarterly dividend to 31 cents per share from 26 cents per share, a 19% increase.

The dividend is payable Oct. 14 to shareholders of record as of Sept. 19, MBIA's press release said.

"This increase reflects the positive outlook for the company and our expectation for continued earnings growth," Elliott said in a prepared statement.

On the New York Stock Exchange yesterday, shares of MBIA Inc. closed up 1/4 points, at 60 1/8.

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