get hitched. Catherine Bessant, a senior vice president at NationsBank, plans to marry John Clay in January. The two don't have to worry about any conflicts of interest - Mr. Clay is a Navy lieutenant commander who pilots submarine-surveillance planes. "I think he can put up with me because I can't run his world," said Ms. Bessant, who freely admits that the closest she's come to flying a plane is reading an aviation magazine. The couple will build their family immediately - they are expecting a baby girl this spring.
*** Jonathan Fiechter, acting director of the Office of Thrift Supervision, is normally the most cautious and judicious of men. But when a reporter asked him last week what he thought of the so-called Oakar banks and their demands for a break on the Savings Association Insurance Fund rescue fee, Mr. Fiechter could not resist a few choice words. "I don't have any sympathy with the Oakar banks," said Mr. Fiechter, in Boston at the time for the annual convention of the thrift trade group America's Community Bankers. "I'm confident that, particularly the larger banks that have been most active in making the case for relief, hired very good law firms, very good investment bankers, and knew full well how the statute worked in terms of Oakar banks." The Oakars are banks that bought thrift deposits. The statute in question takes the percentage of total deposits that the thrift deposits accounted for when they were acquired, and multiplies it by the bank's total deposit growth to figure out how much of the bank's deposits belong in the thrift fund rather than the Bank Insurance Fund. Mr. Fiechter said he didn't buy the Oakars' argument that thrift deposits ran off more quickly than expected. "I would have sympathy had they raised that issue after the first thrift they bought," he said - adding that instead the banks kept buying more thrift deposits.
*** The American Bankers Association has added a new member to its government relations team. Joining the ABA as senior counsel is Cristeena Naser, who was a staff attorney at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. the last two years. Ms. Naser will lobby federal agencies on such issues as compliance and interstate branching. She will also field questions from member banks regarding regulations. With the addition of Ms. Naser, the ABA now has 36 people lobbying Uncle Sam. To free up more time to spend with her children, Ms. Naser will put in about 80% of a regular workweek. "It's a new thing for us," said James D. McLaughlin, the ABA's director of agency relations. "We're trying to bend the culture a bit."
*** Anita Maria Costa is Rep. Bob Ney's new legislative assistant on banking issues. The Ohio Republican serves on the House Banking Committee. Ms. Costa is the former director of supervisory services for the Conference of State Bank Supervisors. She replaces Christopher L. Krukewitt, who left Rep. Ney's office to pursue an accounting degree. Cynthia Lasker, a former Senate Banking Committee legislative assistant, has joined the state regulators group as director of research. She replaces Tara Law Sweet, who is now a congressional affairs specialist at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
*** Lisa Lintecum has been appointed director of fiduciary activities at the Comptroller's office. Ms. Lintecum, a veteran trust examiner at the agency, will be responsible for supervising national banks' fiduciary activities. She holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from William Woods College in Fulton, Mo.