Chase promotes Byrnes to regional post in N.Y.Kevin G...

BANKING & FINANCE

December 10, 1992|By David Conn

Chase promotes Byrnes to regional post in N.Y.

Kevin G. Byrnes is headed to the island . . . Long Island, that is.

After four years as president and chief executive officer of Chase Bank/Maryland, Mr. Byrnes has been promoted to region executive of Chase Manhattan Corp.'s Long Island, N.Y., division, with 45 branches and $3 billion in deposits. He's been spending the last week or so "getting to know the Metroliner" and expects to take over the division after the start of the year.

"This is the finest place I've ever lived," said Mr. Byrnes, 45, a Bronx native who has worked in Los Angeles, St. Petersburg, Fla., and Rochester, White Plains and New York, N.Y. "So it's with mixed emotions that I'm going."

Since his arrival in 1988, Chase Bank/Maryland has grown by more than 50 percent, to $1.1 billion in assets and $810 million in deposits. It has seven branches in Baltimore, Bethesda, Annapolis and Rockville.

Mr. Byrnes's involvement in the community also has grown. The Cockeysville resident serves on the boards of the Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Baltimore Committee, Bethel A.M.E. Outreach Center, the Baltimore County Board of Education and Baltimore Neighborhood Housing Services, among others. And he chairs the Baltimore City Life Museums.

Shame about Blue Cross, right? People could lose lots of money because of the insurers' financial problems in Maryland and other states, right? So, like any good capitalist, you're wondering: What's in this for me?

Well, Alex. Brown & Sons Inc. has an answer: Buy stock in managed care companies.

"The Blue Cross System presents a dual opportunity for the managed care companies we follow," Alex. Brown said in a report last week. "(1) Weak plans present potential enrollment gains for stronger managed care competitors. (2) The changing political environment will most likely force Blue Cross plans to adopt managed care techniques" and thus buy services from those providers.

Three managed care companies should be considered "strong buys," according to analysts Eleanor H. Kerns and Jonathan W. Osgood: U.S. Healthcare Inc., United Healthcare Corp. and Value Health Inc.

U.S. Healthcare, in particular, could benefit from the Maryland Blues' blues. It is the fourth-largest HMO in the country.

"U.S. Healthcare could be the beneficiary of uncertainty of the troubled plans [in Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and Maryland] as employers, providers and employees turn to a more stable and cost-efficient system," the report says.

Signet putting faith in 'imaging' technology

Here's today's SAT practice question: Virtual reality is to computing as . . . . . . . is to banking? The answer is "imaging," and few banks have gone as far with the new technology as Richmond-based Signet Banking Corp. and its Baltimore-based subsidiary, Signet Bank/Maryland.

Imaging involves feeding a document through an optical scanner and storing its image in a computer, rather than a file cabinet or anywhere else where you're liable to lose it.

Signet, which has invested $7.5 million in a Unisys Corp. imaging system, has 100 percent check imaging in Richmond and is beginning to install a similar system in Baltimore.

When that system comes on line next summer.

Signet will be the first bank in the nation with two full imaging sites. The imaging system has more than doubled the company's old processing rate.

Signet President Malcolm S. McDonald was at a Baltimore seminar this week to advise some customers on how to sell the boss on imaging.

"Management doesn't care one whit about the technology . . . because they're not going to understand," he said. "The hot buttons, the ways you get to your management right now, are the ways [imaging can] change your business practices."

Ex-Hopkins economist co-edits finance tome

Baltimore's own Peter Newman, professor emeritus of economics at Johns Hopkins University, has given birth to a hefty 10-pounder (from the looks of it): the three-volume, 2,621-page "The New Palgrave Dictionary of Money and Finance."

The 2-million-word tome, published last month, was co-edited by Mr. Newman -- who chaired Hopkins' economics department from 1973 to 1985 and now lives in England -- and by Murray Milgate, economics professor at the University of Bradford, and Lord John Eatwell, a fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge, in England.

The dictionary, available for $595, plus shipping and handling, offers 1,000 short essays covering everything from arbitrage to zero-coupon bonds.

The new volumes include a few less-weighty entries, such as "The Wizard of Oz: An Allegory for the Controversy on Bimetallism," and "Playing Cards as Currency."

And then there's the intriguing "Super Bowl as Stock Market Predictor." The game forecasts -- with 87.5 percent accuracy so far -- a bull market for the year after a victory by a member of the old National Football League, and a bearish year (no pun intended) if a member of the old American Football League wins.

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