Magazine article American Banker

What's in a Title? Bank One Hires Biz Strategy Chief

Magazine article American Banker

What's in a Title? Bank One Hires Biz Strategy Chief

Article excerpt

In corporate America, some business titles are self-evident, such as chief executive officer.

Then there are titles that often serve as thinly disguised code words. Among that group is the oft-used head of business strategy and development, a title many companies assign to the executive in charge of scouting for acquisition opportunities.

It is the title that Bank One Corp. assigned on Thursday to a new hire drawn -- once again -- from the ranks of chairman and CEO James Dimon's former colleagues at Citigroup Inc.

Jay Mandelbaum, the head of Citigroup's Salomon Smith Barney brokerage, will join the Chicago company next month as the executive vice president of strategy and business development. He will succeed Heidi Miller, another Citi veteran, who was elevated to chief financial officer in May after a brief stint in the post.

What exactly that means for Bank One is still unclear. Mr. Mandelbaum will be one of the company's highest-ranking executives and take a position on the executive management team. In a press statement, Bank One said his specific mission will be to work with the various business units to successfully execute the company's growth plans.

When asked during a telephone interview Thursday whether Mr. Mandelbaum's appointment signaled that Bank One was ready to make acquisitions, Mr. Dimon was quick to say it did not, at least for now.

"You always ask that," he quipped. "Obviously improves the ability to do anything you want to do in conversion, brand acquisitions."

Since his ouster as Citigroup's president and the head of Salomon Smith Barney in 1998, Mr. Dimon has kept in touch with many of his former colleagues. He and Mr. Mandelbaum have known each other for over a decade. "We talk all the time," Mr. Dimon said.

Other Citi alums at Bank One include Charles Scharf, who is in charge of retail banking, Heidi Miller, the chief financial officer, and James Boshart, who heads commercial banking. …

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