Randolph Lively will be taking the helm of the American Financial Services Association as its new president and chief executive. The Washington-based financial trade group represents financial services firms that provide credit to consumers and small businesses.

Mr. Lively joins the association after 12 years as a senior vice president and general manager with Zale Corp., the national jewelry chain. He will succeed Lana R. Batts.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is boosting its economics staff.

Council of Economic Advisers senior economist Constance R. Dunham joined the OCC's economic and evaluation division as a senior financial economist. Before joining the council, she worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago senior adviser and vice president Larry Mote is set to join the OCC as a senior financial economist for the agency's bank research division.

The OCC also lured Nancy Wentzler over from the Office of Thrift Supervision to head the agency's regulatory and statistical analysis division.

"Gene Ludwig is adding talent to his economics shop," said Philip F. Bartholomew, director of the OCC's bank research division. The agency plans to hire more economics staffers over the next year and a half, he said.

The OCC also recently formed a task force to find ways to improve its structure and information systems. Steve Weiss, deputy comptroller for corporate activities, will chair the seven-member group.

Comptroller Eugene A. Ludwig also appointed to the task force Karen Wilson, deputy comptroller for the Northeast; Don Coonley, deputy comptroller for the Midwest; Jimmy Barton, chief national bank examiner; Jim Kamihachi, deputy comptroller for economic and policy analysis; Bob Serino, deputy chief counsel; and Lenora Cross, deputy comptroller for public affairs.

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