Family Businesses

Several banking companies received recognition this week for a sometimes overlooked benefit.

The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption on Monday released its annual list of the 100 most adoption-friendly workplaces in America. Citizens Financial Group, the U.S. unit of Royal Bank of Scotland Plc, came in second, with policies that include $22,170 in reimbursement and a week of paid leave for adoptive employees.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. was 12th, with a $10,000 reimbursement and 12 weeks of paid leave. Bank of America Corp., which pays $8,000 and gives 12 weeks, ranked 38th.

First Horizon National Corp. also finished among the top 50, due to its reimbursement of up to $7,500 in adoption-related expenses and a week of paid leave.

"We found the reimbursement and paid parental leave the company offers extremely valuable," Kevin Howell, an employee in First Horizon's capital markets unit who has adopted twice, said in a press release.

First Reliance Bank and Capital One Financial Corp. also made the list.

Thomas, the late founder of the Wendy's restaurant chain who was adopted as a child, founded the nonprofit. Wendy's/Arby's Group Inc. topped the 2010 list.

BBVA Appointments

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA has named new leaders for its U.S. operations.

The Madrid company on Wednesday named Manuel Sanchez U.S. country manager, succeeding Jose Maria Garcia Meyer.

Sanchez is responsible for the units BBVA Compass, BBVA Puerto Rico, Bancomer Financial Holdings and BBVA's corporate and investment bank.

In a related move, Lawrence Uhlick was named chairman of BBVA Compass, also succeeding Garcia Meyer.

Uhlick, who will remain the CEO of the Institute of International Bankers, will also advise BBVA on policy, legislative, and regulatory matters.

Garcia Meyer has been chosen to lead BBVA's new global unit covering consumer, commercialand private banking.

The Power of 'No'

Dick Evans, the chief executive officer of Cullen/Frost Bankers Inc., said declining federal bailout money will "go down in history" as one of the San Antonio lender's best moves ever.

It let the $17.1 billion-asset company stay free to hire people to call on new clients while rivals were bogged down trying to repay the government, Evans said in an interview Wednesday.

"It gave us the ability to grow our business and not be distracted with lawyers and accountants and all the other stuff," he said. "We aggressively went about calling on customers."

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