Boston Private Bank and Trust hired three lenders to strike a balance between its private-client and commercial banking businesses.

James D. Dawson begins July 15 as an executive vice president in the newly created position of chief lending officer. He previously worked for Andover Bank and Shawmut National Corp.

Also, David R. Masse, formerly of BayBanks Inc., and David A. Bourret, formerly of Citizens Bank of Massachusetts, are joining the $250 million- asset banking company as vice presidents, bringing the number of lenders at Boston Private to seven.

Mr. Masse, who has experience in commercial and private lending, starts Tuesday. Mr. Bourret, who joined the bank in mid-June, focuses on commercial real estate lending.

The bank is positioning itself to pick up clients of recently merged entities in the region - Bank of Boston and BayBanks, Fleet Financial Group and Shawmut - betting that they will be less inclined to make loans in the $250,000 to $2.5 million range.

"During the time they are getting their acts together, the marketplace is getting a little confused and so are their customers," said Timothy L. Vaill, president of Boston Private Bank. "So that gives us another opportunity to strut our stuff."

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