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|Washington Mutual Realigns Business Units; Move Intended To Drive Growth and Streamline Operations|
SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 30, 2003--In a move that continues its evolution toward becoming America's leading retailer of financial services, Washington Mutual, Inc. (NYSE:WM) announced today its plans to align its principal business units around the company's primary customer groups of retail consumers and commercial clients.
The realignment is designed to: -- Create a more highly integrated and unified retailing strategy to maximize household growth and multiple product relationships with customers throughout the United States; -- Deliver a superior customer experience across all delivery channels; and -- Streamline and simplify operations, driving efficiencies and operational excellence throughout the company.
"For the better part of a decade, our management team focused on building scale and leading national positions in retail banking, mortgage lending and select commercial lending businesses through the combination of strong internal growth and acquisitions," said Kerry Killinger, the company's chairman, president and CEO. "Over the past year, however, we have focused increasing attention on developing a more integrated approach to managing these businesses. Today's announcement is the next evolutionary step in that effort -- and one we're confident will enhance our ability to execute on our strategy and drive long-term shareholder value."
Under the new structure, 18-year Washington Mutual veteran Deanna Oppenheimer, president of the company's Banking and Financial Services group, will manage the company's largest retail consumer businesses of retail banking, home lending, consumer insurance services and its retail brokerage services.
Oppenheimer has spearheaded the national expansion of Washington Mutual's retail banking business, which has seen the company grow from a handful of stores in the Pacific Northwest to a national franchise possessing more than 1,500 retail banking stores serving 28 of the nation's top 50 metropolitan markets. The company's home lending business already serves all of the top 50 markets.
Under Oppenheimer's direction, Washington Mutual's retail banking group has produced consistent double-digit growth in depositor and fee income while growing the company's base of retail checking accounts by some 1.8 million over the past 18 months, ending at June 30, 2003 at 7.6 million. Washington Mutual is also on track to open 250 financial center stores in 2003.
Joining Oppenheimer's management team will be 18-year mortgage industry veteran Tony Meola, who will serve as Executive Vice President over home lending sales and distribution. Meola previously served as Washington Mutual's Executive Vice President of Service Delivery for the home lending group.
Prior to joining Washington Mutual in January 2000, Meola served as executive vice president of production for PNC Mortgage, where he also held the position of senior vice president, National Production Operations. Before joining PNC Mortgage, he served as senior vice president, Originations Processing at Citicorp Mortgage, Inc. for eight years and manager of Strategic Planning for Amerada Hess, an international petroleum company.
Meola will be joined by 20-year industry veteran Marito Domingo, who has seven years of experience with Washington Mutual and who will continue to oversee the home lending group's capital markets activities. Mike Kula, who joined the company in 2001 and has 21 years of industry experience, will continue as the home lending group's Chief Financial Officer.
"We have solid, proven management teams in both our retail banking and home lending businesses," Oppenheimer said. "Our management team will be focused on accelerating household growth and cross-sales, driving operational excellence and taking advantage of the natural synergies that exist in the two complementary businesses."
Craig Chapman, chief administrative officer and president of the Specialty Finance Group, will manage all of the operating units responsible for serving the company's commercial clients, including commercial banking, mortgage banker finance, home builder finance, multi-family lending and commercial real estate. Prior to joining Washington Mutual in 1998, Chapman served as president of AMRESCO Residential Mortgage Corporation in Irvine, California, where he oversaw the production, operations, customer service and marketing for the organization's retail and wholesale business. Earlier, Chapman spent 17 years with Household Finance Corporation, where he served as president of Household International's Canadian subsidiary in Toronto and held various other positions with the company.
"Deanna and Craig have precisely the right operational skills to help lead a seasoned team of executives as we strive to take our company to a new level," Killinger said. "In particular Deanna's abilities and experience uniquely position her to lead the unified consumer group, while driving continued strong growth and identifying opportunities for synergy."
In a related development, Craig Davis, 52, president of the company's Home Loans and Insurance Services Group has decided to retire after 25 years in the financial services industry. His retirement is effective September 30. He will serve in an advisory capacity through year-end.
"Craig Davis has been one of the principal architects of our success over the past seven years," Killinger said. "He successfully guided our mortgage group through unprecedented growth and a series of acquisition integrations, which culminated in Washington Mutual attaining a leadership position among America's top home lenders. More importantly, he has helped position our home lending business for continued success as an integrated part of an overall consumer strategy. We are deeply grateful to Craig for the significant contributions he has made to Washington Mutual. We wish him all the best as he enters this new chapter in his life."
With a history dating back to 1889, Washington Mutual is a retailer of financial services that provides a diversified line of products and services to consumers and small businesses. At June 30, 2003, Washington Mutual and its subsidiaries had assets of $283.20 billion. Washington Mutual currently operates more than 2,650 consumer banking, mortgage lending, commercial banking, consumer finance and financial services offices throughout the nation. Washington Mutual's press releases are available at www.wamu.com.
CONTACT: Washington Mutual Media Contact: Alan Gulick, 206/377-3637 email@example.com or Investor Contact: JoAnn DeGrande, 206/461-3186 firstname.lastname@example.org SOURCE: Washington Mutual