By Popular Demand

Puerto Rico's Popular Inc. is trying out a new name in Chicago to broaden its appeal beyond Hispanics.

The San Juan-based company, which does business as Banco Popular, is renaming 14 branches Popular Community Bank next month, a spokeswoman said Thursday. If the name catches on, the company may rebrand all 97 of its mainland branches, she said.

Popular, the dominant bank in Puerto Rico, carved out a niche in New York, New Jersey, California, Florida and Chicago by relying on business from Spanish-speaking people familiar with its name.

The rebranding in Chicago is meant to hold on to that crowd while bringing in people who might be averse to doing business at a bank with a foreign-sounding name, Manuel Chinea, the head of Popular's North America operations, told Crain's Chicago Business in a report on Monday.

Popular once had 140 branches in the mainland U.S. It has been whittling its operations stateside for about three years after losing lots of money on bad consumer loans.

Old Gang, New Gang

Sallie Krawcheck continues to lure former colleagues to Bank of America Corp.

Krawcheck, who has run the Charlotte company's wealth and investment management division for nearly a year, hired Lisa Shalett to be chief investment officer of the Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management unit. Shalett was the head of general growth equities at AllianceBernstein LP.

She worked in research with Krawcheck at Sanford C. Bernstein LLC nearly a decade ago. When Krawcheck left as the firm's CEO in 2002 to join Citigroup Inc., Shalett succeeded her.

In the past year, Krawcheck has also recruited Andy Seig to oversee the retirement business and Kunal Kamlani to run Bank of America Merrill Lynch's global investment solutions business. Both had worked with Krawcheck at Citigroup, where she at one point was the company's chief financial officer.

HSBC Promotion

Patrick Burke has been named chief executive of HSBC North America Holdings Inc.'s consumer finance division.

Burke, 48, is an executive vice president and CEO of the division's card and retail services. He is to start the new job Aug. 1. He succeeds Niall Booker, who is taking over as CEO of HSBC North America from Brendan McDonagh, who is retiring.

Act Local, Go Global

Wells Fargo & Co., which likes to boast that it has the biggest branch network serving U.S. domestic customers, just added five more offices, though with an international bent.

This week the company announced the formation of a global banking group, a new division that expands on what was previously the company's trade bank. Aimed at international business with a focus on American companies seeking foreign exchange, treasury management and cross-border financing, the group has added five East Coast offices from Philadelphia to Miami.

"After merging with Wachovia and taking full ownership of the Wells Fargo HSBC Trade Bank, we're able to distribute our broad set of international services through an expanded global network," Sanjiv Sanghvi, the Wells executive heading the expanded operation, said in a press release. (Wells bought out HSBC's 20% stake this year.)

The group is slated to expand further. "We're definitely hiring," said spokeswoman Katie Ellis.

Government Liaison

Regions Financial Corp. has created a post to oversee government guaranty lending.

The company hired Miguel Alandete to be as its first government guaranty lending manager, a post within the business and community banking division. He is to be Regions' liaison to the Small Business Administration, Department of Agriculture and other federal agencies.

Alandete recently worked at GA Resource Capital in Marietta, Ga., where he was a regional manager in charge of business development and underwriting SBA 504 loans.

New CIT Director

David Moffett, a former chief executive of Fannie Mae, joined the board of directors of CIT Group Inc. this week and will be on its auditing committee. Moffett has had a long career as a bank chief financial officer, ending in 2007 at U.S. Bancorp. In September 2008, the government name him CEO of Fannie; he stepped down six months later.

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