PERSONNEL: Man of Action

The biggest U.S. bank last week got a new president. To succeed the late Lawrence Mario ("L.M.") Giannini, the Bank of America picked Carl Frederick Wente, 63, a director and, until his retirement three years ago, the bank's senior vice president. A protege of Founder Amadeo Peter ("A.P.") Giannini, Wente is the first outsider to boss the bank's 535 branches, and more than $7.5 billion resources. Also named last week to the executive committee: A.P.'s daughter, Claire Giannini Hoffman, previously a director.

Wente, as gusty and hustling as Founder Giannini, is the son...

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