New York - Beleaguered credit card issuer Capital One Financial circled the wagons last week at the JPMorgan 2003 Financial Services Conference, held at the firm's corporate headquarters here in New York. The event took place one day after the resignation of its CFO amid insider trading charges. Company officials reiterated that the Wells notice filed by the Securities & Exchange Commission was not aimed at the company or any of its executive staffers and that it was "at the seam" in its strategic turnaround plan.

If anything, it was an awkward situation. Fresh news that former Executive Vice President and CFO David Willey had audience members on the edge of their seats, yet little was said about this development that had already not been stated publicly. Officials did say that despite the two major blows landed, "we have gotten out in front of the regulatory challenges." There was one caveat to this statement: Cap One had yet to hire an Enterprise Risk Manager, despite its being mandated in last year's Memorandum of Understanding.

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