PSFS Names Hammer CEO as Expected; Former Chase Exec VP Will Succeed Todd Cooke, Elected Vice Chairman

By Basch, Mark | American Banker, December 17, 1985 | Go to article overview

PSFS Names Hammer CEO as Expected; Former Chase Exec VP Will Succeed Todd Cooke, Elected Vice Chairman


Basch, Mark, American Banker


NEW YORK -- Frederick S. Hammer, who left Chase Manhattan Bank to become president of PSFS last year, has been named chairman and chief executive officer of the Philadelphia savings bank's new holding company, as expected.

Mr. Hammer's contract with PSFS included a provision that he would be paid a $500,000 bonus if he was not named chief executive officer of the company of or before Dec. 31 of this year. With 65-year-old M. todd Cooke scheduled to retire as chairman and CEO in early 1986, the announcement by PSFS on Friday came as no surprise.

Mr. Cooke, chairman and chief executive since 1979, was elected vice chairman of the company. He will continue in that position until April 1987, when he will retire.

The changes will become effective at the close of business on Dec. 31.

The $16.7 billion-asset PSFS, which is forming a holding company called Meritor Financial Group, also announced two other management changes. Anthony J. Nocella, executive vice president, was named chief administrative officer at the corporate level of Meritor.

Mr. Hammer, 49, officially joined PSFS on Jan. 1. At Chase Manhattan, he had been executive vice president in charge of the bank's global consumer activities.

To lurfe Mr. Hammer from Chase, PSFS used several perks, which were revealed in the company's prozy statement earlier this year. Mr. Hammer's 1985 salary is $350,000, in addition to bonuses totalling $385,000. Besides the provision that he would be paid $500,000 if he was not named CEO, he also would receive severance pay of $450,000 if his employment is terminated before Dec. 31, 1986.

Mr. Hammer said on Monday that the transitionu from commercial banking to the thrift industry has not been too difficult, because there are more similarities than differences in the two industries.

The biggest difference, he said, is that "the entire focus here is on retail, where it's one of the many focuses in commercial banks."

The other difference is that in the thrift industry, "there are many fewer layers of management between the top and the customer," he said, but with fewer layers, "the management ranks are thinner."

Under Mr. Cooke's direction, PSFS has in recent years accelerated its move from a local savings bank to -- as it now refers to itself -- a "nationwide financial services organization."

'More Complicated' Company

"It's a company that certainly has got more complicated in the past couple of years," said James F. Carter, an analyst with Merrill Lynch Capital Markets.

"Our vision is to be the best retail financial services provider in the country," Mr. Hammer said. But he added that being the best doesn't mean being the largest or being involved in every business on a nationwide basis. PSFS would like to become a "multi-regional retail bank."

In addition to PSFS Savings Bank is Philadelphia, the new Meritor Financial Group will consist of thrift subsidiaries in Florida, Virginia, and Washington, D. …

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