Fox Chase Bancorp hired Thomas Petro as president and chief executive in mid-2005 with a mission to turn around a mutual thrift that was fighting to survive.

By his own judgment, Petro deems his work a success. The $1.1 billion-asset company was once weighed down with bad loans and a portfolio that was loaded with residential mortgages. Absent major changes, the Hatboro, Pa., company was headed toward near-certain failure, Petro says.

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