Magazine article American Banker

TCF's Check Mastermind to Retire on New Year's Day

Magazine article American Banker

TCF's Check Mastermind to Retire on New Year's Day

Article excerpt

TCF Financial Corp. vice chairman Robert E. Evans, known for instituting free checking at the former thrift, will retire Jan. 1, after 26 years.

His responsibilities will be parceled out to four executives: Marketing and product development will report to executive vice president Earl D. Stratton.

Investor relations will report to chief financial officer Ronald Palmer.

Investment products will be overseen by vice chairman Thomas Cusick.

Public relations will report to executive vice president Peter Bell.

The 62-year-old Mr. Evans took an unconventional route to top management. He joined TCF, then known as Twin City Federal Savings and Loan, in 1971 as vice president and director of marketing. Before that he had worked as an account executive for Edwin Neuger & Associates of Minneapolis, the public relations agency that handled the Twin City Federal account.

Mr. Evans might never have gone into public relations except for a strike at the Minneapolis Tribune. After working for the Associated Press in New York and writing a book on China, he wanted to move back to his hometown and work at the paper, but the strike prevented him from getting a job there.

Instead he went to work for Neuger-where he learned about banking.

As head of both public relations and in-vestor relations at TCF, Mr. Evans rode out some pretty rough times. The company was near insolvency in the mid-1980s due to high interest rates, insufficient funds to cover commercial real estate loans, a number of dilutive acquisitions, and losses from derivatives. …

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