The ousted chief executive of PNC Mortgage, Walter C. Klein Jr., has landed on his feet, becoming president and chief executive of First Nationwide Mortgage Corp.

Mr. Klein started work recently at the company's Frederick, Md., mortgage servicing facility, overseeing its $50 billion servicing portfolio.

Reached at the San Francisco headquarters of the parent thrift, First Nationwide Bank, Mr. Klein said his job is to "stabilize what has been a very quickly assembled company."

First Nationwide Mortgage was formed last April with assets from the thrift and those gained through acquisitions of Standard Federal Bank, Gaithersburg, Md., and Lomas Mortgage USA. It was the 20th-largest loan servicer as of June 30.

The company plans to originate $4 billion to $6 billion of loans each year through its network of correspondents and brokers, and Mr. Klein said it would look at other acquisitions of servicing assets as well.

"To me, the hands-on opportunity to help lead a seasoned - but in many ways a new - mortgage company into a competitive 21st century was very appealing," Mr. Klein said.

Mr. Klein was pushed out of the top job at PNC last November when the company's parent, PNC Bank Corp., decided it needed only one top executive at the helm of its mortgage operations. Saiyid Naqvi, then president, was promoted to the top job, reportedly because of his superior technological acumen.

Mr. Klein has a long career in the mortgage industry. He was chairman and president of Sears Mortgage Corp. from 1989 to 1993.

When Sears was acquired by PNC in 1993, Mr. Klein became chairman and chief executive at PNC Mortgage.

Before joining Sears Mortgage, Mr. Klein had worked at Lomas and Nettleton Co., Dallas, the predecessor of Lomas Financial Corp.; Advance Mortgage Corp., Southfield, Mich.,; and Citibank. He is a 1969 graduate of Harvard University, where he received a bachelor's degree in English.

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