John W. Brink has resigned as chief financial officer of Green Tree Financial Corp., a specialty finance company based in St. Paul.

Mr. Brink, who had been with the company 10 years, left without detailing his plans, said John A. Dolphin, vice president and director of investor relations.

"He hasn't told us what he is going to do, but we wish him the best of luck, and we acknowledge his contributions to Green Tree."

The company, which has about 160 locations, finances manufactured housing, home improvement, and equipment. Its loan portfolio totaled about $14 billion at yearend.

Robley D. Evans, vice president and controller, will serve as the interim chief financial officer until the company can find a replacement.

Analysts said Mr. Brink, 50, was a major asset to Green Tree, and they expressed surprise at his departure.

"He built Green Tree from a risky idea to the bellwether of specialty finance," said Jeff Evanson, an analyst with Piper Jaffray, who speculated that Mr. Brink was leaving to "enjoy some well-deserved rest."

"He was with the company for a while and he did a very good job. I'm personally sorry to see him go," said David B. Hilder, of Oppenheimer & Co.

Although one analyst, who requested anonymity, said internal politics may have played a role in Mr. Brink's decision to leave, most remained upbeat about Green Tree's prospects.

"John did was what a CFO was supposed to do. He was building up a strong team behind himself," said Mr. Evanson. "I expect the company will continue without missing a beat."

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