Don't rush this man. William Harrison Jr. waited more than three decades to reach the top. Now he has been tapped to be the next president and CEO of Chase Manhattan. A veteran of Chemical Bank, which acquired Chase in 1996, Harrison insists that he feels no pressure to seek another merger. That's despite rumors on Wall Street that Chase is nearing a deal for an investment bank. "We don't have to do a deal," says Harrison, 55, now vice-chairman in charge of wholesale banking. "We can build. We are great at building businesses."
His appointment also moots talk that Chase was offering the CEO job to leaders of big investment banks to do a blockbuster deal.
Harrison says Chase would like to add equity underwriting to its bond-underwriting and loan-syndication business lines. But he says the push into stocks is being done with a "three-to-five-year time frame." When Harrison steps into his new post on June 1, current CEO Walter Shipley, 63, will remain chairman. President and Chief Operating Officer Thomas Labrecque, 60, will retire.