Steel picks JPMorgan veteran Phelan as Wachovia's risk chief

Wachovia Corp. chief executive Bob Steel again reached outside the company to fill his management roster, naming a JPMorgan Chase & Co. veteran as his chief risk officer Tuesday.

Kenneth Phelan, 49 and the head of risk management services at JPMorgan, will join Charlotte-based Wachovia in early October. Steel, who took over July 9, is putting his stamp on the executive team.

Steel is looking to reassure investors and analysts that he will turn around Wachovia, which has struggled with its ill-fated purchase of Golden West Financial Corp.

But he told analysts last month that he doesn't expect any more management changes beyond the retirement of chief risk officer Don Truslow and chief financial officer Tom Wurtz.

The risk chief is in charge of monitoring the quality of loans and other bets made by the bank.

Phelan said in a statement he looked forward to “working with the management team to drive profitability, enhance risk controls across the firm and restore confidence and value for shareholders.”

Phelan, a graduate of Old Dominion University in Virginia, is also an alumnus of Bank One, UBS and Credit Suisse First Boston.

Steel named David Zwiener from Carlyle Group as his new CFO last week.