Happy to Be Here

Michael Cavanagh, the chief financial officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co., plays down speculation that he is among the candidates for the top job at the New York banking giant.

A reporter asked Cavanagh in a conference call Wednesday whether he is in the running to take the helm of the $2 trillion company after Chief Executive Jamie Dimon leaves.

"I don't have time to think about that stuff," Cavanagh said. "My plate is full with the big job that I've got."

A management shakeup two weeks ago was widely viewed as preparation for whenever the Dimon era ends. Jes Staley — named CEO of the investment banking unit two weeks ago — is considered the leading candidate, but Cavanagh is a contender.

Other possibilities include retail financial services head Charles Scharf and asset management chief Mary Erdoes.

Cavanagh said he is happy to continue in his current role as long as it is good for shareholders.

All in the Family

A familiar name is moving up the ranks at Synovus Financial Corp.

The $34 billion-asset Columbus, Ga., banking company announced last week that Billy Blanchard had become president of its Columbus Bank and Trust unit. Blanchard, who joined the company in 1995, is the son of James Blanchard, who retired as Synovus' CEO in 2005 and as chairman a year later.

The younger Blanchard "is a passionate and driven leader," said Steve Melton, a regional CEO at Synovus. "Now is his time."

Hall of Famer

Retired BB&T CEO John Allison is being honored in his home state.

Allison, who will also retire at yearend as the $175 billion-asset Winston-Salem, N.C., company's chairman, is to be inducted into the North Carolina Business Hall of Fame on Nov. 5.

He will share the stage that day with at least one friendly face. James Maynard, a co-founder of the Golden Corral restaurant chain and a director at BB&T since 1985, also is to be honored at the event.

Inductees are selected each year by Junior Achievement of the Central Carolinas Inc. and the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce.

New Wells Hire

Paul Lazar has been named a business development leader at Wells Fargo Insurance Services Southeast Inc., a subsidiary of the $1.3 trillion-asset Wells Fargo & Co. in San Francisco. Lazar is to be responsible for business development in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi. He also is to help formulate sales strategies and goals for the region. Lazar most recently worked for three years in finance and sales leadership posts at Integro USA Inc., an insurance brokerage.

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