Thomas M. Garrott on May 1 assumed the positions of chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Tennessee's National Commerce Bancorp. as well as chairman and CEO of National Bank of Commerce in Memphis.

He replaces Bruce E. Campbell Jr., who continues as a director and chairman of the executive committee of the holding company and its lead bank.

Mr. Garrott has established an office of the chairman, which will include John S. Evans, president of National Bank of Commerce and head of the commercial banking group; William R. Reed Jr., vice chairman and head of the retail banking group; and Walter B. Howell, vice chairman, chief financial officer, and head of the financial services group.

Mr. Garrott joined National Commerce in January 1983, after serving on its board of directors. He is credited with leading the company's ventures in supermarket banking. Mr. Evans joined the bank in 1963 as a management trainee.

National Commerce said it has achieved historically low levels of nonperforming assets and an increase in serve levels under Mr. Evans' leadership while enjoying double-digit loan growth.

Mr. Reed joined the bank on Dec. 1, 1969, as a management trainee. During his tenure as the head of the retail division, the bank has expanded from Memphis to three additional Tennessee markets, and retail accounts have increased more than fivefold.

Mr. Reed also is chairman and chief executive officer of the Nashville Bank of Commerce and the NBC Knoxville Bank.

Mr. Howell, the chief financial officer, joined National Bank of Commerce on June 17, 1968. Under his leadership, the company's efficiency ratio - operating expenses as a percentage of operating income - improved to . in 1992, from 74.1% in 1982.

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