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Wachovia taps recruiter in CFO search

By Rick Rothacker
rrothacker@charlotteobserver.com

The recruiter leading Wachovia Corp.'s search for a new chief financial officer is known for high-profile jobs such as placing JPMorgan Chase & Co. chief executive Jamie Dimon in his previous post.

A knowledgeable source told the Observer that the Charlotte bank has tapped Andrea Redmond for the key task of finding a new CFO for the nation's No. 4 bank by assets. New chief executive Bob Steel said last week he plans to name a replacement for the departing Tom Wurtz within a month.

Redmond, who departed top-flight recruiting firm Russell Reynolds Associates in 2006, is known for bringing Dimon to Chicago-based Bank One Corp., which he later merged with JPMorgan. She was involved in placing Glenn Tilton at United Airlines and Mark Hurd at Hewlett Packard Co.

Reached at her suburban Chicago home, Redmond declined comment. Wachovia spokeswoman Christy Phillips-Brown declined comment.

Steel, who replaced the ousted Ken Thompson in June, is reshaping the management team at Wachovia, which is struggling to recover from massive loan losses and a series of missteps. Wurtz and chief risk officer Don Truslow have said they will retire once their successors are found. Steel told analysts last week that the CFO search is further along than the naming of a chief risk officer.

Possible CFO candidates cited by analysts include Chris Marshall, who previously held executive posts at Bank of America Corp. and Fifth Third Bancorp, and William Demchak, a vice chairman of Pittsburgh-based PNC Financial Services Group Inc. Marshall and PNC have declined comment. Analysts also say Steel could turn to former colleagues at investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc. or at the U.S. Treasury Department.

The CFO plays a critical role as a company's top number cruncher and as a key spokesman to Wall Street, where Wachovia is working to restore its credibility with investors. Redmond's tie to Dimon is interesting because JPMorgan has been seen as a possible Wachovia buyer. Steel has stressed plans to keep the bank independent.

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