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
-- 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
Alan Gulick, 206/377-3637
JoAnn DeGrande, 206/461-3186
SOURCE: Washington Mutual