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It seems unlikely that Wal-Mart would ever need anybody defending its business practices. However, now may be a good time to start, given the scuffle over whether or not Wal-Mart should open a banking division. As the nation’s largest private-sector employer, Wal-Mart can offer its employees and customers a relatively easy and low-cost way to get to their hard-earned money. Every couple of years another corporation is targeted for its “unfair” business practices, and the corporation typically spends hundreds of millions of dollars in legal costs that are then passed onto the consumer. Microsoft faced this battle over a decade ago as did AT&T a decade before that. Perhaps it would be better to let consumers decide what is working for them and what isn’t. The wisdom of Wal-Mart’s banking strategy should be determined in the marketplace, not the legislature. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own.

PACIFIC SECURITY CAPITAL (BEAVERTON, OR) CFO Dan Ferris also assumes the COO’s role to pick up oversight of all core business units. Ferris, the veteran executive, joined the firm in 2004.

WELLS REAL ESTATE FUNDS(NORCROSS, GA) Jeff Gilder is named managing director of capital markets while Spencer Patton and Keith Willby are elevated to senior vice presidents of acquisitions. Gilder gets a newly created position to oversee three of the firm’s five regional acquisitions teams. Patton will direct acquisitions in the Midwest region after four years as its vice president. Willby assumes acquisition duties for the South.

New Hires

SCI REAL ESTATE INVESTMENTS(LOS ANGELES) The national TIC sponsor company adds 10 regional directors to its line-up. Brian Ballo comes on board for the Anaheim, Long Beach and Riverside, CA office; Eric H. Aronson, Austin-San Antonio; Alan Willsey, Baltimore, Richmond, VA and Washington, DC; Scott William Dunton, Billings, MT, Boise and Fargo and Sioux Falls, SD; Tim Crockett, Houston; B. Quentin Foster, Hollywood; Wayne Gregori, Oakland, CA; Norman Craig Henry, Orlando and Tampa, FL; Benjamin Calamore, San Diego; and Steven Epcar, San Francisco and San Jose, CA.

JONES LANG LASALLE (CHICAGO) Anne Carey ends eight years as the Chicago Bears representative for the $650-million redevelopment of Soldier Field to become a senior vice president in projects and development services for Jones Lang LaSalle’s Chicago and the Midwest regions.

BROWN RAYSMAN MILLSTEIN FELDER & STEINER(NEW YORK CITY) The law firm of Ross & Cohen becomes part of Brown Raysman Millstein Felder & Steiner in a move to beef up its construction law practice. The line-up includes Allen Ross and Frederick Cohen.

TRAMMELL CROW CO.(SAN FRANCISCO) Roberta Sharnak is named vice president of project management in Northern California. Sharnak most recently was vice president and national account manager for Jones Lang LaSalle.

CRESCENT REAL ESTATE EQUITIES (PHOENIX) Joseph F. Pitchford gets a vice president of development’s title and responsibility of the 255,000-sf, class A office project at Hughes Center in Las Vegas. He most recently was executive vice president with Concord Eastridge Inc.

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