Crossing enemy lines ... Robert R. Davis is joining the American Bankers Association as a full-time consultant after three years at America's Community Bankers.

Mr. Davis will not be advising the ABA on anything related to the Savings Association Insurance Fund rescue - an issue the two trade groups have clashed on repeatedly.

"It would be unseemly for me to change sides in a debate with which I have been so publicly associated," Mr. Davis wrote in his resignation letter to Paul A. Schosberg, president of America's Community Bankers.

Mr. Davis, who starts today, said his first ABA project will be an analysis of issues facing the government-sponsored enterprises, such as privatizing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Edward L. Yingling, the group's executive director of government relations, said the ABA also will draw on Mr. Davis' expertise in sorting through issues presented by a merger of the bank and thrift charters.

As a consultant, Mr. Davis will be free to do work for other clients.

Asked why he jumped ship, Mr. Davis said, "It's lucrative, and it's what I want to do. It's preferable to the opportunities I think I have here (at ACB)."

Before joining the thrift trade group in 1993 as director of economics and research, Mr. Davis served on the board of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Prior to that, he was chief economist for Congress' Joint Economic Committee as well as an economist at Harris Bank in Chicago and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

At America's Community Bankers, director of policy Brian P. Smith is taking over Mr. Davis' duties.

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After leading the Conference of State Bank Supervisors for seven years, James B. Watt will retire June 30.

Before he joined the association in 1989, Mr. Watt was a professor of management and marketing at McKendree College, Lebanon, Ill. He was also vice chairman of Landmark Bancshares of St. Louis and chairman and chief executive of Midamerica Bancsystems, Fairview Heights, Ill.

Until the group chooses a new leader, senior vice president Robert A. Richard will serve as acting chief executive.

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Gaston L. Gianni Jr. was confirmed by the Senate as inspector general for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Mr. Gianni, formerly an associate director at the General Accounting Office, headed up oversight of the Resolution Trust Corp. James A. Renick, who has run the office since December 1993, becomes principal deputy inspector general.

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The FDIC also promoted several supervisors last week.

Michael J. Zamorski is moving to Washington from the agency's New York office to be deputy director of supervision. He'll be Nicholas Ketcha's No. 2 - again. Mr. Zamorski was Mr. Ketcha's deputy when he was director of the agency's New York office.

James V. McFarland moves from the FDIC's Boston office to take the top job in New York. Patrick J. Rohan leads the Boston office, stepping up from the deputy slot in the FDIC's Atlanta office. Daryl P. Stum moves up from deputy to director in Chicago, and Steven K. Scholzen takes over the Kansas City office after serving as deputy in the agency's San Francisco office. Finally, Keith W. Seibold will lead supervision from Dallas, moving over from the agency's liquidation office there.

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