Magazine article American Banker

Robbins Resigns after Rocky Year at Liberty Financial's Bank Group

Magazine article American Banker

Robbins Resigns after Rocky Year at Liberty Financial's Bank Group

Article excerpt

Ronald Robbins has resigned as president of Liberty Financial Bank Group after a tumultuous strut in which he snared a plum contract with Chemical Banking Corp., only to lose it several months later.

Mr. Robbins left Monday after two and a half years with Liberty, the investment sales ann of Liberty Financial Companies, Boston.

The parent company named its own executive vice president, Porter P. Morgan, as acting president of the bank group.

Liberty has not yet decided whether Mr. Morgan will be appointed on a permanent basis, a spokesman said. But whatever the outcome, Mr. Morgan is expected to stay involved with the bank group, the spokesman added.

Liberty was one of the first companies to get into the business of helping banks run investment sales programs. Today, it is one of the top players in the field. The company last year sold $1.6 billion of mutual funds and annuities through banks.

Mr. Robbins helped build Liberty into an investment products powerhouse, but the company appeared to stumble this year, prompting rumors that Mr. Robbins' days them were numbered.

The most visible setback was Chemical's decision to back out of a groundbreaking joint venture with Liberty. The venture, which Mr. Robbins and others had trumpeted as a prototype for the next generation of bank sales efforts, unraveled when Chemical decided to operate the program itself.

Around the same time, Alan Blank, who was also closely involved in the Chemical deal, departed as vice chairman of the bank group. …

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