Downey Savings Recruits Management Team

LOS ANGELES -- Downey Savings and Loan Association, Newport Beach, has announced that F. Anthony Kurtz will become president, joining Robert L. Kemper, who was named chief executive in mid-September.

The two are veterans of the team that tried to turn around Great American Bank, a San Diego thrift that was seized by regulators in August. Both are considered top-notch executives.

Mr. Kurtz, 50, spent more than 20 years at H.F. Ahmanson & Co., eventually rising to senior vice president and chief financial officer. He resigned in 1989 and worked briefly as the chief financial officer at the Price Company, a big San Diego-based retailer.

Their Ship Sank

In 1990, he joined Great American as chief financial officer, staying until most of the company was sold to Wells Fargo & Co. and the rest seized by regulators in August.

Mr. Kemper, 63, a former vice chairman and 27-year veteran of Wells Fargo & Co., was brought in as chief executive of Great American to lead the turnaround team.

Mr. Kurtz will replace Maurice L. McAlister, 66, and Mr. Kemper will replace Gerald H. McQuarrie, 70. Mr. McAlister and Mr. McQuarrie founded the $4 billion asset thrift 34 years ago.

Holding a Second Title

Mr. McAlister will remain chairman of the board and president of DSL Service Co., Downey's development subsidiary. Mr. McQuarrie will remain vice chairman of Downey's board.

Joseph Jolson, a thrift analyst at Montgomery Securities, said that he expects the company to earn $3.25 a share this year, 25% more than last year, and that he believes the stock will outperform other thrift equities.

PHOTO : Robert L. Kemper, At the helm

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