Richard H. Deihl, who built H.F. Ahmanson & Co. from a savings and loan with assets of $2.6 billion into the biggest thrift in America, has retired as chairman.

Charles R. Rinehart, 48, who succeeded Mr. Deihl in 1993 as chief executive of Ahmanson and chairman and CEO of its Home Savings of America unit, has been given the additional title of chairman of the parent company.

Mr. Deihl, 66, became chief executive of Home Savings in 1967, when the company had 36 savings branches. It now has assets of $50 billion and 365 savings branches in seven states and 92 mortgage offices in 12 states.

In the middle 1970s, Mr. Deihl pioneered the widespread use of adjustable-rate mortgages, which have since become a staple for the nation's thrifts. He credited that strategy with saving the company when interest rates surged later in the decade.

"We survived the turmoil in our industry during the 1980s by staying away from popular diversification trends - junk bond investing, oil drilling, and other temptations that arose from deregulation," Mr. Deihl wrote in the Ahmanson annual report last year in summing up his career. He joined the company in 1960.

Mr. Rinehart, 48, has been effectively at the company's helm for more than a year. He is expected to selectively diversify Ahmanson's business once again while remaining in the mainstream of financial services.

Earlier, he was president and chief executive of Avco Financial Services, which has operations in consumer finance and insurance.

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Alliance Mortgage Co., Jacksonville, Fla., has named Fred A. Freeman a vice president. He will be the manager of loan production in south Texas.

Previously, Mr. Freeman had been with Bank United Mortgage Corp., NationsBanc Mortgage Corp., and American Mortgage Corp.

Alliance services about $4 billion in residential mortgages and has about 210 employees.

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Richard J. Lovett, executive vice president of national programs for PNC Mortgage Corp., Vernon Hills, Mich., has been given additional responsibility for mortgage production in 13 western states.

He joined the company in 1990 as senior vice president for corporate and direct-consumer loan programs.

Before joining PNC, he was chief operating officer at Lender Services Inc.

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Midland Loan Services, Kansas City, Mo., has named Timothy A. Mazzetti director of corporate business development and marketing.

Before joining Midland, he was a vice president for Sovereign National Management in Houston.

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