Chemical Banking Corp., New York, has appointed Diane Varrin Eschleman to be chief administrative officer of Geoserve.

Ms. Eschleman succeeds senior vice president Yawar Shah, who will now head Geoserve's global treasury management and cash management units, Chemical officials said. Both Mr. Shah and Ms. Eschleman will report to Richard J. Matteis, executive vice president and head of Geoserve.

Geoserve, Chemical's fee-based-services subsidiary, provides corporate transaction services to nearly all Fortune 1,000 companies and nearly 60% of the New York area's middle market - companies with annual sales of between $10 million and $500 million.

"My agenda is going to be much more focused on the marketing element, and exploiting opportunities for revenue growth," Ms. Eschleman said. "I'm enthusiastic about the opportunities to be even more proactive than we've been in the past."

Officials said the personnel moves signal the "next chapter" in the history of Geoserve, which began as a unit of Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co. in 1989.

Ms. Eschleman, a 17-year veteran of the company, said there were two distinct periods in the evolution of Geoserve: its systems integration into Chemical's treasury services unit, and "best practices" studies and strategic re-evaluations of business lines.

At one point, Geoserve was an amalgamation of five business units: global funds transfer, trade services, global securities, corporate trust, and cash management.

Under Mr. Shah's tenure, funds transfer and trade services were consolidated, as were global securities and corporate trust. These moves were responses to how customers purchased Geoserve's products and services.

Now that those phases in Geoserve's evolution have been completed, Ms. Eschleman said, "We are ready to have some fun and take advantage of the opportunities."

Geoserve, which employs over 4,500 people, earned $750 million in revenue for Chemical last year. One advantage Ms. Eschleman said she will exploit is the No. 1 position Geoserve holds in several areas, including loan syndications, asset-backed private placements, and market share in the middle market.

Ms. Eschleman will use the number of relationships Geoserve has to build new relationships and business lines among its customers.

"We've had very close partnerships with the middle market, but I'm convinced there are opportunities for us to leverage that even further," Ms. Eschleman said. "Many of those customers have significant operating services needs and that's going to be my principal mandate."

She cited a 1994 survey conducted by the Connecticut research firm Greenwich Associates Inc., based on interviews with 1,700 companies with annual sales of at least $500 million.

The survey found the number of bank relationships corporations maintained continuing to decrease. Last year companies used, on average, 6.2 banks for cash management purposes, down from an average of 7.1 in 1990. Furthermore, 50 percent of all cash management revenues went to the lead bank, while 20 percent went the second bank. All others banks where corporate accounts are held earned nominal amounts.

"It confirms our belief that corporations are increasingly consolidating their operating services business," Ms. Eschleman said. "We'd like to make sure that Geoserve is on the winning side of that equation."

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