Citicorp has acted to stabilize the management of its mortgage company by making permanent the acting appointment of David Lowman to the unit's presidency.

Mr. Lowman was also named chief operating officer at Citicorp Mortgage, executives of the St. Louis-based unit said. As the company's No. 2 executive, he reports to chairman and chief executive officer Carl Levinson.

Mr. Lowman succeeds Richard Thornberry, who quit in March after two years at the helm. Mr. Thornberry's departure was followed by the exit of two of his top lieutenants.

At Citicorp, Mr. Lowman had previously headed up a $57.4 billion servicing portfolio, the 14th-largest in the industry.

Citicorp Mortgage had $8.2 billion of originations last year, up from $5.3 billion in 1996, mostly from a correspondent lending business that operates nationwide.

Mr. Lowman joined Citicorp Mortgage two years ago from Prudential Home Mortgage, which was sold at that time to Norwest Mortgage.

At Prudential Mortgage, Mr. Lowman oversaw financial operations and loan originations on the wholesale side during more than 10 years at the company. He was one of the first 40 employees at Prudential Mortgage. At the time of its sale, it was the largest wholesale originator in the country.

Meanwhile, industry executives said that Mr. Thornberry may soon reemerge, with a bid for the $96 billion servicing portfolio that GE Capital Corp. has put on the market.

Mr. Thornberry is said to be working on financing with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., the firm that funded many of the largest leveraged buyouts of the 1980s. Mr. Thornberry did not return a call for comment.

The GE portfolio could go for as much as $1 billion, based on prices that other large servicing portfolios have fetched, industry observers said.

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