Amex's new appointments to feed financial services

NEW YORK: American Express has created two senior positions within its worldwide public affairs structure to provide extra support to its new global financial services (GFS) division.

NEW YORK: American Express has created two senior positions within its worldwide public affairs structure to provide extra support to its new global financial services (GFS) division.

NEW YORK: American Express has created two senior positions within its worldwide public affairs structure to provide extra support to its new global financial services (GFS) division.

Elizabeth Coleman is being brought back to New York from Hong Kong to become vice president of public affairs for GFS. She is currently VP of public affairs for Asia.

Coleman will report to Marie Davis, who has been promoted to VP of global financial services communications. At the moment, Davis heads public affairs for American Express' Financial Advisors division, based in Minneapolis.

Although American Express is far better known for its travel and card businesses, the company actually makes a third of its income from its financial advisors. Revenues for this division rose 17% in 1999.

American Express created the GFS division in September as part of an effort to globalize organization of its key product groups and focus resources on an increasingly profitable area. Apart from financial advisors, it also includes the card businesses, banking, an online brokerage and personal financial services.

Separately, the company has promoted Susan Korchak to VP of Public Affairs for its US card business, and Molly Faust to VP of corporate and financial PR for its US operations. Both report to American Express' SVP of communications, Mike O'Neill.

Outside the US, the company has replaced its VP of international public affairs, Sally Sussman, who left for Estee Lauder at the end of October.

Jim Tobin - who has headed American Express' European public affairs department since 1997 - has been promoted to the role and will take charge of the company's non-US PR.

American Express divides non-US PR into four geographical areas. Latin America will continue to be headed by public affairs VP Simon Kleine, and Canada by David Burns.

Two of Tobin's early priorities will be to find a new European VP to replace himself, and a new Asian VP of public affairs to replace Coleman.

The new emphasis on American Express' financial services coincides with a change of management. President and COO Ken Chenault takes over as chairman and CEO at the end of the year, replacing Harvey Golub who is retiring.





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