Magazine article American Banker

LaSalle's CFO Put in Charge of ABN Amro Mortgage

Magazine article American Banker

LaSalle's CFO Put in Charge of ABN Amro Mortgage

Article excerpt

ABN Amro Holding NV has shaken up the management of its U.S. mortgage business and acknowledged that its spectacular growth caused customer service problems and made it difficult to adapt to changing market conditions.

On Tuesday, Thomas M. Goldstein was named the chairman, chief executive, and president of ABN Amro Mortgage Group Inc. He was the chief financial officer of the lender's immediate parent, LaSalle Bank Corp.

Scott K. Heitmann announced recently that he would retire as ABN Amro Mortgage's chairman April 1. Its previous president, the longtime industry veteran Stanley Rhodes, has taken on an advisory role as the vice chairman, and on Tuesday he indicated he would retire in a few years.

ABN Amro Mortgage has enjoyed "absolutely terrific growth" recently but "over the last year has not had the kind of growth, the kind of success we had in prior years," Mr. Goldstein said in an interview. Its production in the first nine months of last year dropped 68% from a year earlier, to $11.9 billion. "As you look at great companies, it's not unusual to hit a period where they are at a transition point."

Pressed for details, Mr. Goldstein said, "We grew so unbelievably fast the last few years, gained so much market share [and] became so focused on that growth [that] some of our areas got ahead of the supply lines. Some of our customer service declined."

The Ann Arbor, Mich., unit found itself "without some of the product we wanted to have" he said. …

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