California-based savings institutions to put a commercial banking veteran in charge of its retail business. The $19 billion-asset thrift last week announced the hiring of John D. Broderick, a former Citicorp and Crocker National Corp. executive, as executive vice president and director of retail banking. Mr. Broderick, 55, will be charged with building fee-based businesses and lowering funding costs by putting more emphasis on checking accounts - a strategy already evident at thrift rivals including Home Savings of America, Great Western Bank, and Glendale Federal Bank. Mr. Broderick also will be asked to expand nonmortgage consumer lending and modernize the computer systems linking American's 159 branches, said Mario J. Antoci, chairman and chief executive officer. The ex-banker is to start at the Irvine, Calif., headquarters Jan. 1. He was not available for comment. Mr. Broderick is following a recently beaten path into the top echelons of the thrift industry. In July, Great Western Financial Corp. of Chatsworth, Calif., the second-largest thrift company, recruited A. William Schenck 3d from PNC Bank Corp. in Pittsburgh to head its retail business. This week, Carl W. Forsythe, formerly of Banc One Corp. in Ohio, began work as executive vice president of retail services at Home Savings of America, the largest U.S. thrift and the principal subsidiary of H.F. Ahmanson & Co., Irwindale, Calif. Golden West Financial Corp. of Oakland, the cost-conscious, mortgage- oriented thrift that is third-largest in California and the nation, has not yet joined this bandwagon. Commercial banking talent has also moved into top thrift financial jobs. Great Western recently named Barry Barkley, formerly of Banc One, as its controller; and Washington Mutual of Seattle, the No. 6 thrift in assets and No. 7 in deposits, appointed Thomas J. Kappock from Bancorp Hawaii as chief financial officer. Concurrent with its announcement about Mr. Broderick, American Savings named another executive vice president as chief financial officer: Robert Bradshaw Henske, 34, currently a vice president at the Boston-based consulting firm Bain & Co. Mr. Henske, known as Brad, has experience in such retail areas as credit cards, mortgage and home equity loans, and deposit products. His appointment also will take effect Jan. 1. "I think it's an obvious trend," Mr. Antoci, American Savings' CEO, said of the hunt for banking expertise. He said thrifts are preparing for the day when banking and thrift charters are combined, though the blurring of their identities is well along in the consumer's mind. According to the American Banker/Gallup 1995 Consumer Survey, published Nov. 1, about half of bank customers see no difference in the quality of bank and thrift services or in the level of confidence they have in each type of institution. Most of the remaining 50% to 55% give banks the nod over thrifts, and thrifts have, indeed, been taking on more banklike trappings, often by dropping "savings" from their names and moving to change their corporate cultures. Marketing backgrounds, technology knowledge, and ability to generate loan and fee income are at a premium in thrifts' executive ranks, and Mr. Broderick fills those bills. American Savings was drawn to his "passion for the retail side of the business and his results orientation," said Robert T. Barnum, president and chief operating officer, to whom Mr. Broderick will report. Mr. Broderick worked at Citicorp from 1965 to 1977, moving through senior posts in strategic planning, marketing, and finance. He was chief financial officer of the finance company network, Citicorp Person-to-Person Financial Services. From 1977 he worked for Crocker National Bank in San Francisco, overseeing information systems and retail banking until the bank's parent, Midland Bank of London, sold it to Wells Fargo & Co. in the mid-1980s. He was part of an influential Citicorp-Crocker cadre that also included David Brooks, now executive vice president of Visa U.S.A., and Louis Buglioli, who, like Mr. Broderick, left Crocker to join Benton International, a Torrance, Calif.-based consulting firm specializing in payment systems and consumer banking. Mr. Brooks, who was a Crocker vice chairman supervising Mr. Broderick, said he "has the whole bag of tricks. He understands strategy, tactics, process, and is one of the most detailed in putting plans together. "He has a vision for how retail banking can be delivered. ... I know he's looking forward to the opportunity to execute his ideas." Mr. Broderick spent six years at Benton International as a partner before running the retail banking division at Bank of Ireland's New Hampshire subsidiary, First NH Bank, from 1991 to 1993. Mr. Broderick went on to build an $8 billion consumer loan portfolio for ITT Corp. and most recently was chairman and chief executive officer of ITT Residential Capital Corp., San Francisco, one of several financial service businesses that ITT is liquidating or divesting. At American Savings, Mr. Broderick will fill a position vacated earlier this year by W. Brent Robinson, who resigned citing "serious disagreements" with management. Mr. Henske, American's new CFO, has worked since 1988 at Bain & Co., of which the thrift is a client. Mr. Barnum called him "an incredibly sharp executive with outstanding strategic planning skills.

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