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CMBS Industry Veteran Joins Washington Mutual to Head its Commercial Real Estate Capital Markets Program
SEATTLE, Sep 30, 2002 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Washington Mutual, Inc. (NYSE:WM) today announced it has hired Rob Best as senior vice president and CMBS Manager in its Specialty Finance Group (SFG).

In this newly-created position, Best will develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to establish a fully functional commercial real estate loan CMBS operation within the group.

"Rob's wealth of experience and successful track record is well known in the industry, and we are pleased to have him head our newly-established CMBS Commercial Real Estate Loan operation," said Keith Johnson, executive vice president, Commercial Capital Markets. "His diverse background in finance, portfolio management, advisory and CMBS issuance makes him the perfect choice to implement our CMBS business and strategy. One of his first priorities is to actively solicit and hire top quality talent, nationwide," said Johnson.

Best joins Washington Mutual after a successful 17-plus-year career with Principal Mutual Life Insurance Company in Des Moines, Iowa, where he served in all aspects of commercial real estate and strategic planning for the parent organization. In his most recent position, Best distinguished himself as one of the top CMBS executives in the country and helped establish Principal as one of the leading CMBS brand names among its competitors.

The addition of Best is the latest move by Washington Mutual to build its CMBS origination and capital markets presence. Earlier this year, WaMu tapped Goldman Sachs & Co. and Sidley Austin Brown & Wood to advise on its CMBS platform development and bring future transactions to market

"Within commercial real estate, Washington Mutual is widely known for being the nation's leading multi-family lender. Rob's leadership of our CMBS operation will assist us in serving the needs of commercial mortgage customers in all property segments -- particularly their needs for long-term, fixed-rate financing," said Craig Chapman, president, Specialty Finance Group.

With a history dating back to 1889, Washington Mutual is a national financial services company that provides a diversified line of products and services to consumers and small- to mid-sized businesses. It is the nation's #1 multifamily lender and ranks 8th in commercial mortgage servicing. At June 30, 2002, Washington Mutual and its subsidiaries had assets of $261.28 billion. Washington Mutual currently operates more than 2,300 consumer banking, mortgage lending, commercial banking, consumer finance and financial services offices throughout the nation. For more information, visit Washington Mutual's web site at www.wamu.com.

CONTACT:          Washington Mutual
                  Lotus Lou, 206/377-8178
                  lotus.lou@wamu.net

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