Flamson, Ex-Security Pacific Chief, Dead at 62
LOS ANGELES -- Richard J. Flamson, former chairman and chief executive officer of Security Pacific Corp., died Thursday from complications arising from leukemia. He was 62.
Mr. Flamson spent 36 years with Security Pacific and was CEO from 1980 to 1990. He was considered an industry visionary and was credited with building the holding company from the 11th largest in the United States to the fifth largest, currently with $80 billion in assets.
A Heralded Leader
"His leadership qualties were outstanding," said Robert T. Parry, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and a former member of Security Pacific's management committee.
Edward M. Carson, chairman and chief executive of rival First Interstate Bancorp, characterized Mr. Flamson as "a strong and good competitor. We will miss him."
Lloyd Johnson, chairman and chief executive at Norwest Corp., Minneapolis, and a former Security Pacific executive, said Mr. Flamson was a leader in adjusting to structural changes in the industry and in its sources of income.
"He was one of the first bankers to recognize that the wholesale banking business was becoming difficult," Mr. Johnson said. He also said Mr. Flamson was one of the first to predict the economic rise of the Pacific Rim.
Set Up Finance Companies
In the 1970s Mr. Flamson shaped Security Pacific's non-bank affiliates, then considered a radical innovation. The group included consumer and commercial finance companies and other nontraditional businesses and eventually provided more than 30% of the holding company's profits.
Active in civic organizations, Mr. Flamson was head of fundraising for the Doheny Eye Hospital during some difficult economic times in the late 1970s and early 1980s. "It is more than fair to say we would not have the hospital if it were not for the leadership of Mr. Flamson," said Dr. Stephen J. Ryan, president of the institute.
"He is one of the best executives I've met in any industry," said Eli Broad, chairman and chief executive of Broad Inc., a financial services firm where Mr. Flamson served on the board for a decade. "He gave me and the company great counsel."
Mr. Flamson, a native of Los Angeles, is survived by his wife, Arden, four children, and six grandchildren. Funeral arrangements were not yet completed. In lieu of flowers, the family suggested donations be made to the Cancer Center at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, Calif.