Maribeth S. Rahe, a longtime Harris Bank executive and one of the most prominent women in banking, is jumping to U.S. Trust Corp.

Ms. Rahe, 48, will join in July as a vice chairman with broad responsibility for business development and expansion, the New York-based banking company announced Wednesday. She will report to president Jeffrey S. Maurer.

She has been vice chair of Harris, a Chicago-based unit of Bank of Montreal, since 1995. She now oversees trust, investments, private banking, retail banking, and credit card operations.

Ms. Rahe joined Harris in 1974, moved to J.P. Morgan & Co. in 1980, and returned to Harris in 1988.

In a phone interview, Ms. Rahe said she had mixed feelings about leaving again, but found returning to a pure private banking job extremely appealing. "If I said no, somebody else would have gotten to do it, and then how would I feel?" Ms. Rahe said.

U.S. Trust created the job-its second vice-chairman post-to strengthen oversight of its regional affiliates, which contribute one-third of revenues, said chairman H. Marshall Schwartz.

"We have wanted for some time an executive who is immensely talented in wealth management, especially in putting up businesses outside of home base," he said.

Ms. Rahe will not be replaced at Harris, a spokeswoman said. Instead, her team of three executive vice presidents will report directly to chairman Al McNally.

U.S. Trust manages $58 billion in client assets; Harris manages $27 billion.

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