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GREAT WESTERN CONSUMER FINANCE GROUP ANNOUNCES PLANS TO RELOCATE CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS TO TAMPA, FLA.

 MEMPHIS, Tenn., March 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Officials of Great Western Consumer Finance Group have announced plans to relocate the company's corporate headquarters from Memphis, Tenn. to Tampa, Fla. The move, to be completed by the end of 1993, comes in response to business and management needs created by the rapidly growing Florida operations of GWCFG's parent, Great Western Financial Corporation.
 Michael Pappas, president and chief executive officer of GWCFG, said Great Western's acquisition of Miami-based CenTrust Savings Bank and other recent expansion activities in Florida have "necessitated closer cultural and operating ties between the consumer finance group and our parent company.
 "Florida is a major growth market for consumer lending," Pappas said, "and that's our specialty. Since Great Western's corporate base is in California and with its focus on home mortgage loans, there were compelling business reasons for us to establish a consumer business anchor on that part of the east coast."
 GWCFG operates 512 lending offices in 23 states, primarily under the Blazer Financial Services and City Finance names. Since moving its headquarters from Miami to Memphis in 1987, the company has enjoyed dramatic growth and become a major contributor to Great Western earnings.
 "Memphis has been good for us, and we've enjoyed the city and its people," Pappas said. "The decision we made was not without regret. Happily, we are going to be able to maintain a significant and continuing presence here. Our credit administration offices and regional and district management operations will remain. And the specific commitments we have made to community needs, including our Great Western Scholars program, through 1993 are intact and will be fulfilled."
 The company and its executives have been active in Memphis' civic life. GWCFG has given some $200,000 annually to community interests, particularly those dealing with the problems of the homeless and at-risk youth. Its officers and managers have served as board members for a number of nonprofit agencies, and company employees have been frequent and enthusiastic volunteers for a variety of community activities.
 Tampa was chosen for the company's new corporate home after months of study and site visits in the state by a team of GWCFG executives. "Tampa is a growing city with a dynamic business climate and progressive leadership," Pappas said. "The city has good transportation facilities, attractive places to live, abundant recreational opportunities and enjoys a relatively low cost of living. We are confident we made the right choice for our company and our employees."
 While the exact number of GWCFG's 150 corporate employees who will be involved in the move has not been determined, all will be offered jobs in the new Florida office. "We know that moving can be a difficult disruption," Pappas said, "but we believe that the newly merging relationship with Great Western will give our people a chance to enrich their career opportunities."
 -0- 3/19/93 R
 /CONTACT: James Bare, 901-757-7575, or Gordon Turner, 407-642-5583, both of Great Western Consumer Finance Group/


CO: Great Western Consumer Finance Group ST: Tennessee, Florida IN: FIN SU:

JB-AW -- FL005R -- 7948 03/19/93 14:29 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 19, 1993
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