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FIRST FLORIDA ANNOUNCES NEW COMMUNITY BANK STRUCTURE

 FIRST FLORIDA ANNOUNCES NEW COMMUNITY BANK STRUCTURE
 TAMPA, Fla., Jan. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Paul M. Homan, president and


chief executive officer of First Florida Banks, Inc. (NASDAQ-NMS: FFBK) and it's subsidiary, First Florida Bank, N.A. announced today a new community banking organizational structure that will consolidate the bank's operations from five regions to three, each of which will report to a regional president. The consolidation is designed to strengthen the bank's ties to the local community and enhance local decision making and responsiveness to customers.
 "Our goal is to be Florida's primary community bank in all of the markets we serve," said Homan. "We've listened to our customers and we're determined to give them the banking organization they want. Our approach is to marry the service level of smaller community banks with the cost efficiencies created through economies of scale and a complete offering of financial products and services.
 "We attained our size through combining the best of Florida's community banks, and we believe that the community bankers' approach to meeting customers financial needs is our best strategy to compete successfully against other community banks. At the same time, the local community focus and high service level will continue to differentiate First Florida from the large regional banks that cannot or will not provide the same commitment of local management and financial resources in the communities we serve."
 The regional presidents are responsible for the delivery of all consumer and commercial bank products and services in their respective geographic areas of responsibility. Each county will have its own county president who will report to the regional president and the chairman of the local county advisory boards of directors.
 Heading the three regions are Frances I. "Rip" duPont, III, who will serve as First Florida's West Region president responsible for the bank's operations in the Panhandle, Citrus, Hernando, Pasco and Pinellas counties; Joseph V. Marto, who will serve as the bank's East Region president including Volusia, Brevard, Orange, Osceola, Lake, Polk and Highlands counties; and Stephen C. Green, who will serve as the president for the bank's South Region including Manatee, Sarasota, Lee, Charlotte and Collier counties.
 Prior to joining First Florida, duPont, president of First Florida's West Region, served as regional executive for Southeast Bank. He was responsible for all consumer, commercial and corporate banking operations in the 33-county North Florida area. During his tenure at Southeast, assets more than doubled. He also served as chairman of the board of the $800 million deposit First Federal Savings & Loan of Jacksonville and was responsible for merging the S&L into the Southeast system.
 A 35-year veteran of the banking industry, Joe Marto, First Florida's East Region president joined First Florida in 1984 through the acquisition of Flagship Bank of Melbourne where he served as president and CEO. Under his leadership, the Melbourne group of banks grew to more than $250 million in assets. He later joined the holding company of First Florida as an executive vice president in charge of seven area offices with assets totaling more than $700 million. Prior to his latest assignment, he served as senior executive vice president of administration for the bank.
 Stephen C. Green, First Florida's South Region president joined First Florida in 1990 from NCNB Texas where he served as senior vice president and manager of corporate lending. During his career with NCNB, previously Republic National Bank, he served as senior vice president of the Houston Corporate Market which included lending offices in 12 states serving the needs of corporate customers with revenues in excess of $80 million. Prior to this promotion, he served as executive vice president of First Florida's corporate banking division.
 HEADQUARTERS STAFF ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGES
 First Florida's board also announced a restructuring of the headquarters office staff which reports directly to Homan. Included among them and heading the community banking activity is Arthur A. Simpson Jr., who has been named president of general banking. The three new regional presidents will report to him. Simpson is also responsible for the management and supervision of corporate and real estate lending, consumer products development and delivery and deposit and loan operations. Simpson joined First Florida in 1980 and has served the bank in numerous management capacities. He has served First Florida as chief credit officer since February 1991.
 "Arthur has made a tremendous contribution to this company over the last 12 years, but his leadership over the last year has been particularly outstanding and an important element in the revitalization of First Florida," said Homan. "As part of our community banking strategy, we must fine-tune and focus management responsibility. Arthur will assume a larger share of the day-to-day activities of the community banking businesses as I take a more direct role in credit policy, strategic planning and the bank's other businesses."
 Additional members of the headquarters staff reporting to Homan include: Frank A. DiMarco who will serve as chief information officer, cashier and secretary. He is responsible for the leadership, coordination and oversight of the bank's use of information technology. Frank joined the bank in 1960 and has progressed through a variety of management positions within the company including accounting, correspondent banking, proof operations and system operations.
 William G. Foster who was named treasurer and is responsible for First Florida's asset/liability function, the funding position, management of the investment portfolio, the capital markets function and economic analysis. Prior to joining the bank, he was an associate with Municipal Advisors, Inc. a consulting firm providing services to municipalities for the preparation of bond issues, developing capital improvement plans and other engagements. A career-banker, Bill was a long-time employee of a large super regional banking operation in Virginia.
 Mark D. Gruetzmacher who will serve as chief corporate development officer responsible for the overall administration of the company including human resources, marketing, facilities management and strategic planning. He joined the bank in 1975 and has held management positions in the areas of methods analysis, branch site analysis, marketing and strategic planning and private banking.
 Robert G. Harris who will serve as chief accounting officer responsible for all financial reporting and procedures, financial management information, external reporting and internal controls. He joined the bank in 1988 as executive vice president and chief financial officer. Prior to joining First Florida, he served as chief financial officer for National Bancshares Corporation of Texas.
 S. Dean Lesiak who will serve as chief compliance officer responsible for the management, direction and supervision of the compliance and risk management activities of the bank including internal audit, regulatory compliance and loan review. He joined the bank in 1988 as senior vice president of credit policy. Prior to joining First Florida, he served as a vice president and senior loan review officer at Society Corporation in Ohio. Additionally, he spent 19 years as a national bank examiner with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
 Additional direct reports to Homan will include a chief credit officer and a chief trust and investments officer, both positions of which remain to be filled. Homan will serve as acting chief credit officer and Jim Renger will serve as acting chief trust and investments officer.
 Additionally, the board confirmed the following positions within the bank: O. Fred Dobbins was named director of general banking operations. He is responsible for the development and implementation of specific plans and programs of the operations group as it relates to the general banking functions including, consumer and commercial loans and deposits operations. A First Florida banker of more than 20 years, Dobbins served the bank previously as senior executive vice president of the retail banking group. He has served the bank in numerous management positions during his career.
 Holly D. Deem was named director of investment portfolio management with responsibility for a $2 billion portfolio. She is responsible for the management, supervision and direction of all trust investment activities and guides the implementation and coordination of the department's investment policies and procedures. She joined First Florida in 1989 after four years with the subsidiary of an Illinois bank's investment corporation where she shared management responsibilities for an $850 million portfolio. She began her banking career as an accountant and moved to the trust area after her first year.
 Carl D. Gent was named director of corporate and real estate banking. His responsibilities include large commercial loans, cash management and other corporate services, correspondent lending, international banking and the coordination of the bank's overall real estate loan portfolio including systematic analysis of the loan portfolio to monitor trends, and cultivation of new business. A banker of 20 years, he comes to First Florida from his most recent position as senior vice president and manager of the real estate group for a large super regional bank.
 Frank LaFalce was named director of the special loans and assets division. He is responsible for the planning, development and implementation of policies and procedures to minimize charge-offs from non-performing and other problem loans and returning them to performing status whenever possible. He also has overall responsibility for the bank's other real estate owned portfolio (OREO). Prior to joining First Florida, he managed the special credits division of a large Maryland bank. His experience also includes six years practicing law in the areas of banking, general business, real estate and creditor's rights cases.
 Thomas N. Ray was named director of credit policy. He is responsible for the administration of First Florida's loan portfolio, credit policies and procedures, underwriting standards, portfolio analysis and risk ratings. He most recently served First Florida as executive vice president of corporate banking for the bank's central region. A First Florida banker of more than 12 years, he has served the bank in several management roles.
 James D. Renger was named director of personal trust. He is responsible for the management, supervision and direction of all personal trust activities, including the development of new business, growth in profitability and the coordination of policies and procedures. A banker of 21 years, prior to joining First Florida Bank, he served as senior vice president and manager of personal trust and estate administration, and private banking for a large New England regional bank.
 First Florida Banks, Inc. is a Florida-based bank holding company with $5.7 billion in assets as of Sept. 30, 1991, and operates First Florida Bank, N.A. with 144 banking offices along Florida's West Coast from Pensacola to Naples/Marco Island, and throughout the Central Florida area to the Atlantic Coast.
 -0- 1/7/92
 /NOTE TO EDITOR: A press conference teleconference will be held at 2:30 p.m. regarding this release. Interested participants should call 800-243-0135 between 2:20 p.m. and 2:30 p.m./
 /CONTACT: Jerri Franz of First Florida Banks, Inc., 813-224-1972/
 (FFBK) CO: First Florida Banks, Inc. ST: Florida IN: FIN SU: PER


SS-AW -- FL005 -- 7320 01/07/92 12:35 EST
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Date:Jan 7, 1992
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