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Exec Shakeup at Doral

CEO, CFO resignations announced

August 23, 2005

By MortgageDaily.com staff


Senior executives are finding their way to the door at Doral Financial Corp., which earlier this year revealed it would restate prior financial statements.

The Puerto Rico-based banker announced Friday that it decided to implement changes in senior management in order to complete the company's financial restatement process and move it forward thereon.

As a result, Ricardo Melendez was terminated Friday from his position as CFO and replaced by Lidio Soriano on an interim basis, according to the announcement. Soriano, 36, has served as Doral's risk management director since January 2005, as president of New York-based subsidiary Doral Money, and prior to Doral was in charge of Citibank Puerto Rico's mortgage division.

Effective Sept. 15, 2005, Doral CEO Salomon Levis will reportedly resign and John Ward, 59, will become the interim CEO, Doral said. Ward has been the non-executive chairman of the board since July 2005. His resume includes former chairman and CEO of American Express Bank and 27 years as a Chase Manhattan Bank executive.

Doral also announced the resignations of David Levis as Director Emeritus and Mario S. Levis as Treasurer, who was replaced Friday by Doral's head of Funds Management Group Julio Micheo.

"While the board appreciates both the company's prior leadership in positioning Doral as a leader in financial services in Puerto Rico and selected growth markets in New York City, and recognizes the Levis' substantial ongoing ownership in the company, it determined that a revitalization of Doral's leadership is necessary to position the franchise optimally for success going forward," commented future CEO Ward in the announcement.

The financial holding company reported its mortgage loan volume of $7.8 billion last year grew 20% from 2003.

Doral additionally appointed Zoila Levis as vice chairman of the board. She will continue to serve the company as a president, chief operating officer and a director, the announcement said.

The executive shakeup follows findings from Doral's independent counsel, Latham & Watkins LLP, that the lender needed to restate its financial statements for one or more of the periods ending on or prior to Dec. 31, 2004.

While the counsel continues to investigate the facts and circumstances relating to the restatement, Doral said it continues to "work expeditiously" to complete the restatements as soon as possible and become current in its filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


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