Donald Mandich: At the Helm

American Banker, July 24, 1985 | Go to article overview

Donald Mandich: At the Helm


Donald R. Mandich, Comerica's 59-year-old chairman and chief executive officer, is given a lot of credit for pushing the Detroit-based banking company into the 20th century.

The essence of Comerica's strategy, Mr. Mandich explained, is contained in the company's July 1982, name change. The holding company used to be known as Detroitbank Corp., and it was parent of Detroit Bank and Trust -- Michigan's oldest bank.

Mr. Mandich said that it was important that the new name have no geographical or business limitations. That's why the name doesn't include the words "Detroit" or "bank."

"With the way things are changing in banking, we could end up in the insurance business or the electronics business some day," he said.

The change has been dramatic. Detroit Bank & Trust was the only bank in Detroit to operate continuously through the Great Depression. Since then, most of the city's banks have been known for conservatism -- a strategy that worked well in this highly industrial city until deregulation.

It was in 1981 that management contemplated a complete restructuring and strategic planning process, which was far from limited to a name change. …

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