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Executive Shakeups Spread to Boardrooms

Recent mortgage executive activity

May 15, 2009

By SAM GARCIA


Three firms replaced their chief executive officers and four firms elected new chairmen for their boards. The death of the former Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation chairman drew condolences from bankers and from his successor.

M. Susan Elliot was named interim president and CEO of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston, an April 30 news release said. She replaced Michael A. Jessee, who retired.

Directors of Capstead Mortgage Corp.'s board elected Jack Biegler as chairman, according to an announcement last week. Biegler, who has been a Capstead director for four years, replaced Paul M. Low -- who will remain on the board as Chairman Emeritus. Low had been chairman of the Dallas-based real estate investment trust since 2003 and was a founding director in 1985.

On Tuesday, Edina Realty Mortgage reported that Joseph Brown was named president. Brown, who has spent 17 years in mortgage banking, will supervise 70 loan originators at the Wells Fargo Home Mortgage affiliate -- which claims to be the "the second largest residential mortgage company by volume in the Twin Cities metro area."

Brown started as a mortgage consultant at the Minneapolis-area firm in 1995 and has since been recognized as a top producer. He was subsequently promoted to branch manager, then vice president.

Gary W. Douglass was elected chairman of Pulaski Bank, parent Pulaski Financial Corp. announced this month. Douglass became CEO of the bank in May 2008, when he also became a director of the bank and the St. Louis-based parent.

photo of V. Dale Babbitt
Idaho Bancorp photo
of V. Dale Babbitt

Idaho Bancorp issued a May 7 statement indicating that its board of directors elected V. Dale Babbitt as the new chairman. He was also elected chairman of subsidiary Idaho Banking Co.

Babbitt was a founding director of the Boise, Idaho-based institution in 1996. He replaces Tom Morgan, who was elected chairman in April 2005 and will continue on as a director.

Ted Kopczynski was promoted to chief credit officer of AMCORE Bank, a news release this week said. The 27-year veteran is responsible for developing and overseeing credit activities, policies and procedures.

But executives at parent AMCORE Financial Inc. weren't so lucky.

An April 27 announcement indicated that President Donald H. Wilson and Executive Vice President Richard E. Stiles were terminated. The shakeup is part of cost-cutting strategy to align operations with the current market as the Rockford, Ill.-based company reported a $30 million first-quarter loss.

First BanCorp has named Orlando Berges to replace Chief Financial Officer Fernando Scherrer when he resigns on July 31, a statement last week said. Before joining the San Juan, P.R.-based institution on May 11 as executive vice president, Berges worked at Banco Popular de Puerto Rico.

StanCorp Mortgage Investors parent StanCorp Financial Group Inc. appointed J. Greg Ness president, CEO and director, an announcement earlier this month said. He replaces retiring Eric Parsons, who will remain on as non-executive chairman.

MBIA Inc. CEO Jay Brown will relinquish his chairman post, though he will remain a director, according to a May 7 press release. The move is an effort to improve corporate governance. Daniel P. Kearney, who has been a director since 1992, has been elected chairman.

Kearney previously served as the president and CEO of the Resolution Trust Corporation Oversight Board and as a managing director at Salomon Brothers Inc.'s mortgage finance and real estate finance departments.

photo of Orlando Berges
First BanCorp photo
of Orlando Berges


Raleigh, N.C.-based Coastal Federal Credit Union said yesterday that it promoted Rick Mullen to chief lending officer.

photo of Bill Seidman
FDIC photo of
Bill Seidman
In a statement Wednesday, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Chairman Sheila C. Bair said she was "deeply saddened" by the death of former FDIC chairman Bill Seidman -- whom she called "a dynamic and independent leader." She noted that Seidman presided over the agency during another tumultuous period.

"He has always maintained the respect and affection of FDIC employees," Bair stated. "His plain-speaking and straightforward approach made him a gifted communicator."

American Bankers Association President and CEO Edward L. Yingling issued a similar statement Tuesday, calling Seidman a "colorful and accomplished leader" and praising his "straight talk and no-nonsense manner."

"While Bill Seidman's career in public service stretches back through the Ford administration, those of us in the banking and regulatory community remember him best for his stewardship of the FDIC," Comptroller of the Currency John C. Dugan said in a statement. "He headed the agency through the thrift and banking crises of the late 1980s and early 1990s, and his steady leadership helped maintain public confidence in the deposit insurance system."

Dugan added that Seidman oversaw the establishment of the RTC -- which went on to resolve mortgage 700 failed thrifts with almost $400 billion in assets.

Global West Resources said Wednesday that it appointed Michael McCarthy as CEO. McCarthy, who previously held executive positions at Countrywide Financial Corp. and Ditech, will oversee the Laguna Niguel, Calif., organization as it changes its name to We Save Homes Inc.


Sam Garcia worked in mortgage lending for twenty years prior to becoming publisher of MortgageDaily.com in 2000.

e-mail: [email protected]


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