SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 29, 2006--Washington Mutual, Inc.
(NYSE:WM) announced today it has hired Frank Vella Jr. as the new
division executive for Small Business Banking.
In his new position, Vella will be responsible for all aspects of
Small Business Banking at Washington Mutual, a division that
represents a considerable growth opportunity for the company.
"Frank brings 35 years of retail and small business banking
experience to Washington Mutual, and we're confident he will set and
execute a strategy that will increase our momentum in this important
segment," said Kenneth Kido, executive vice president and acting
president of Washington Mutual's Retail Bank.
Vella's appointment follows an extensive nationwide search. Among
Vella's initial duties will be developing specific growth strategies
for our various markets and establishing a distribution and sales
strategy. Kido noted that the number of small business checking
accounts at Washington Mutual rose 48 percent in 2005, and average
deposits rose at a similar rate.
"Small business has been an area of success for us, but there is
considerable remaining opportunity," said Steve Rotella, Washington
Mutual's president and chief operating officer. "I expect Frank's
extensive experience and leadership skills will allow us to leverage
this opportunity and strengthen our overall position in the market."
Vella was most recently senior vice president of Small Business
Banking at JP Morgan Chase, where he designed and implemented a
strategic sales and service business plan for 2,750 branches and
expanded market share in all 17 states in which Chase operates.
Earlier he was vice president and national sales and dealer
service center executive for Chase Automotive Finance and southeast
regional president for Personal Financial Services.
Vella holds a bachelor of science in economics and finance from
Fairleigh Dickinson University. He also has completed programs at
Harvard Business School and the American Bankers Association Business
With a history dating back to 1889, Washington Mutual is a leading
provider of financial services for consumers and small businesses. At
December 31, 2005, Washington Mutual and its subsidiaries had assets
of $343.12 billion. Washington Mutual currently operates more than
2,600 retail banking, mortgage lending, commercial banking and
financial services offices throughout the nation. Washington Mutual's
press releases are available at http://newsroom.wamu.com.
CONTACT: Washington Mutual
Mary Kelley, 206-377-6878 (Media Contact)
Alan Magleby, 212-326-6019 (Investor Contact)
SOURCE: Washington Mutual, Inc.