Aames Financial Corp. has reported a $36 million first-quarter loss, compared with $2 million of net income a year earlier, and said its chief executive has stepped down.

The Los Angeles-based subprime lender said that $15 million of pretax operating losses and a $37 million one-time charge for servicing advances contributed to the results announced Monday.

The company said it had closed on the first tranche of a $100 million investment by Capital Z Financial Services Fund, a deal that was announced in December. Aames issued 76,000 shares of preferred stock to Capital Z and its investors.

Aames took in $36.8 million of revenue in the quarter, compared with $59.5 million a year earlier. Loan volume was down 26.9%, to $401.7 million.

The company said that its recapitalization plan will be put off from June 30 to July or August because of delays in Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

The postponement, combined with the quarter's net loss and a possible loss in the current quarter, could violate provisions in Aames' credit lines, the company said.

After leading Aames during more than two difficult years, chief executive Cary Thompson relinquished control last week to an outsider associated with the company's recent equity infusion.

Mani Sadeghi, chief executive of Equifin Capital partners, will assume all chief executive duties while the board searches for a new CEO, Aames said last week.

"These continue to be challenging times for our industry and our company," Mr. Sadeghi said in announcing the first-quarter results, "but we believe that by being proactive and focused, Aames will position itself for future success."

Mr. Sadeghi's fund, Equifin, is an investment firm that participated in the $100 million deal led by Capital Z. The deal shifted control of Aames to Capital Z.

Before founding Equifin, Mr. Sadeghi was group president at AT&T Capital Corp., where he managed a portfolio of specialty finance companies. He also has been a business development executive at GE Capital Corp.

The management shift "represents a natural progression for Aames at a pivotal point in its history and put in place the appropriate steps, under Mani's leadership, for a seamless and orderly succession process," said a written statement by Steven Gluckstern, a partner at Capital Z and Aames' chairman.

Mr. Thompson, 41, joined Aames in March 1996 as chief operating officer, from Natwest Markets where he had been a managing director. At the time Aames, and the subprime industry in general, were enjoying easy access to capital and booming investor demand. Aames shares traded as high as $32.375 on March 10, 1997, before market demand for loans securitized by Aames and other subprime lenders dried up and sent the stock plummeting.

In August 1997, Mr. Thompson announced that the company was looking for a partner or buyer to provide capital.

Mr. Thompson will continue at Aames as vice chairman, supporting capital markets, securitization, and strategic investment activities.

Neither Mr. Thompson nor Capital Z executives were available to comment.

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