Magazine article American Banker

Former Am Res Chief Says He Nearly Got Key Spot at Chemical

Magazine article American Banker

Former Am Res Chief Says He Nearly Got Key Spot at Chemical

Article excerpt

Hours after Chemical Banking Corp. announced last week that it had given up its external search for a mortgage chief in favor of appointing insider Thomas Jacob, a hot rumor began to circulate.

The story: John Robbins, former chief executive of American Residential and a top candidate for the Chemical job, had been dropped at the last moment. As a consolation, the rumor goes, Mr. Robbins was allowed to keep a seven-figure signing bonus.

Mr. Robbins is among a handful of mortgage banking CEOs who found themselves significantly richer after last year's wave of bank acquisitions, but without a job. Others include David Frank, the No. 2 Margaretten executive who quit the top job at Chemical earlier this year, and his mentor and Margaretten founder, Felix Beck.

Mr. Robbins' appointment at Chemical, according to one version of the rumor, was nixed by Chase executives who were angry over their underperforming acquisition of American Residential in 1994.

Reached in Washington on Monday, where he was attending a meeting at Fannie Mae, Mr. Robbins dismissed the rumors but acknowledged he had been close to getting the job.

"It was getting close," Mr. Robbins said. "There's no question about that."

He said "most of the major financial issues had been resolved and agreed to." But there was no signing bonus, he added.

"Do I think that I am owed something? Do I think there was any impropriety in the way it was handled? Absolutely not," he said.

Chemical Bank also vigorously denied that any money changed hands. …

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