Financial Executives: Keeping Track

H&R Block,
the $3.9 billion tax service provider, named Jeffrey Brown CFO and senior vice president. Brown has served as acting CFO since Becky Shulman left the Kansas City, Mo.-based company at the end of April. Brown, 51, had been H&R Block's corporate controller since 2008. Earlier, he was assistant controller of a subsidiary, H&R Block Management, and before that was director of that unit's corporate accounting. Brown previously served as controller at Bacou-Dalloz.

Nalco, a $3.7 billion water treatment company in Naperville, Ill., named Kathryn Mikells CFO and executive vice president. She replaces Brad Bell, who is retiring. Mikells, 44, is currently CFO of UAL Corp., the parent of United Airlines, and will begin her new job when United's merger with Continental is final. Before being named CFO of UAL in 2008, Mikells served as vice president of investor relations for United and before that as treasurer. She joined United in 1994 as a financial analyst.

Brinker International, the $2.9 billion operator and franchiser of chain restaurants including Chili's Grill & Bar and Maggiano's Little Italy, named Guy Constant CFO and executive vice president. He replaces Charles Sonsteby, who left to become CFO of Michaels Stores. Constant, 45, had been the Dallas, Texas-based company's senior vice president of finance and CFO of Chili's. Since joining Brinker in 2004, Constant has worked in finance, compensation and investor relations.

Toll Brothers, a $1.8 billion luxury homebuilder in Horsham, Pa., appointed Martin Connor CFO and treasurer. He replaces Joel Rassman, who died in September after a long illness. Connor, 46, joined Toll Brothers in 2008 as assistant CFO. Prior to joining Toll Brothers, he was president of Marcon Advisors, a finance and accounting consulting firm, CFO and director of operations for O'Neill Properties, a commercial real estate developer, and an audit partner at Ernst & Young, where he worked on the Toll Brothers account.

Harris Interactive, a $168 million market research firm, named Pavan Bhalla CFO, treasurer and executive vice president. He replaces Eric Narowski, the company's interim CFO since November. Narowski continues as principal accounting officer, global controller, and senior vice president. Bhalla, 47, was previously CFO for the HR outsourcing division of Hewitt Associates, which was recently acquired by Aon. From 2006 to 2008, he was Hewitt's controller. Prior to joining Hewitt, Bhalla was senior vice president of finance for MCI.

MFA Financial, a New York City-based real estate investment trust that focuses on residential mortgage-backed securities, appointed Stephen Yarad CFO. He replaces William Gorin, MFA's CFO since 2001 and its president since 2008. Gorin will continue to serve as president. Yarad, 40, was a financial services audit practice partner with KPMG in New York for almost 20 years. MFA had $504 million in interest and dividend income in 2009.


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