Before accepting a post at NationsBanc Montgomery Securities Inc., Wall Street veteran W. Carter McClelland said, he did his homework.
"A lot of other situations that I looked at were much more like flying an airplane on autopilot," Mr. McClelland said. "NationsBank has a tremendous corporate client base, and I don't think it has been significantly mined yet."
Montgomery, the securities subsidiary of Charlotte, N.C.-based NationsBank Corp., announced last week that it has hired Mr. McClelland to be senior managing director and co-head of investment banking. He will start at the firm Sept. 8.
Mr. McClelland, 52, was most recently responsible for Deutsche Bank's high-profile attempt to build a securities business in the United States. A former executive at Morgan Stanley & Co., Mr. McClelland left Deutsche Bank in March after it scaled back its U.S. operations.
In an interview last week, Mr. McClelland said he had spoken with three or four European banks since leaving Deutsche Bank. But he decided not to work with another foreign bank - at least for now.
"Their knowledge of the U.S. market is still reasonably limited," Mr. McClelland said.
At Montgomery, Mr. McClelland will share responsibility for investment banking with its current co-head, Joseph M. Schell. He will succeed Lewis Coleman, the former vice chairman of BankAmerica Corp. who joined Montgomery in 1995.
Mr. Coleman has reportedly been tapped to become the firm's chief operating officer. A NationsBank spokeswoman declined to comment on Mr. Coleman's appointment but said he would remain at the company in a senior role.
For Mr. McClelland, NationsBank's pending merger with BankAmerica Corp. sweetened the prospect of joining Montgomery, he said. But he added that he would have chosen to work at Montgomery even without that incentive.
Mr. McClelland will work in Montgomery's New York office; Mr. Schell will remain in San Francisco.
Since NationsBank acquired Montgomery Securities, a San Francisco investment bank, last October, it has focused on building its presence in both Charlotte and New York, Mr. McClelland said. But after merging with BankAmerica, NationsBanc Montgomery would add Chicago as a fourth node in its network.
"We will strengthen those industries we most want to be in, and maybe there are one or two that we will add," Mr. McClelland said. He said any hiring he does would be based "a little on where the customers are and also where the employees are that we hope to recruit."
Mr. McClelland was president and chief executive officer of Deutsche Bank North America and a member of its board of directors for three years. He also managed the integration and expansion of the German bank's worldwide investment banking business, Deutsche Morgan Grenfell.
Before that he had spent 21 years at Morgan Stanley.