Magazine article American Banker

Kraemer's Post at Crossland Suits His N.Y. State of Mind

Magazine article American Banker

Kraemer's Post at Crossland Suits His N.Y. State of Mind

Article excerpt

Richard A. Kraemer was facing a die-hard New Yorker's worst nightmare: a transfer to Southern California.

H.F. Ahmanson & Co., the nation's largest thrift holding company, was phasing out Mr. Kraemer's job as chief executive of New York's Bowery Savings Bank and Home Savings Bank as part of a consolidation.

"We talked for a period of months about some things he might do out here," recalls Ahmanson president Charles Rinehart from the company's Los Angeles headquarters. "The main stumbling block was that he just didn't want to leave New York."

Fortunately for Mr. Kraemer, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was about to take over Crossland Federal Savings Bank in his native borough of Brooklyn. The agency needed a manager, and the tough-talking real estate pro fit the bill.

Real Estate Has Been His Bread and Butter

On Jan. 24, about two weeks after he was approached, Mr. Kraemer was named chief executive of the $7.4-billion asset thrift. The FDIC pumped $1.2 billion into Crossland and gave him a straightforward mandate: Revive the thrift so it is ready for sale in a year or two.

People who know Mr. Kraemer, 47, say he's up to the challenge.

He is a 30-year veteran of the New York thrift scene, and commercial real estate has been his bread and butter. He took his first banking job as a teenager in 1962 in the marketing department of Dime Savings Bank, and soon after became a real estate appraiser.

"It's a part of the business I've always liked, and obviously it's going to be a big part of business now," he said.

Certainly, Crossland can use some workout help. Crippled by bad commercial real estate loans, it lost $308 million in the fist nine months of 1991. As of Sept. 30, regulators classified some 21.5% of the loans in its portfolio as substandard or worse. …

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