A number of top executives have left Alliance Funding Co., the 25th- largest company in home equity and credit-impaired loans. Some of them have joined a nearby competitor.
Robert T. Riordan, president since the company's founding 10 years ago, left the company Tuesday. Michael McGovern, vice president of marketing, and four wholesale and correspondent lending sales executives had already left.
Mr. McGovern and the account executives have joined a new subsidiary of GMAC Mortgage Group in Montvale, N.J., where Alliance is also based.
The move highlights the often-intense competition for employee loyalties in the lending industry.
Robert J. Blackwell, executive vice president and chief operating officer, confirmed the departures and said he would run the company until a new president is found.
Mr. Blackwell played down the exodus. He said Mr. Riordan was "tired" of working at Alliance Funding.
"Certainly the departure of a president in any company will raise some eyebrows," he said. But he said Mr. Riordan left on his own accord, on "completely amicable" terms.
Mr. Riordan could not be reached for comment.
Alliance Funding is a division of Superior Bank, a thrift based in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill. The bank is owned by Coast-to-Coast Financial Corp., a Reno, Nev., holding company for the Pritzker family of Chicago and the Dworman family of New York.
According to David Olson, a Columbus, Md., consultant, Alliance originated $415 million of loans in 1993, 25th largest among lenders making loans to borrowers with impaired credit. Last year it originated $500 million to $600 million, he said.
Mr. Olson said Alliance's executive losses were significant. He said that, perhaps for the Pritzker and Dworman families, Alliance "is such small potatoes that this just slipped through their fingers when they weren't watching."
But Nelson L. Stephenson, Superior Bank's chairman, said the thrift knew about Mr. Riordan's departure. He said Mr. Riordan would remain as an adviser to Alliance. And he said a replacement for the president will be announced soon.
Mr. Stephenson said the positions held by Mr. McGovern and the sales executives had already been filled.
He said their departures showed how quickly employees now switch companies and how cutthroat the competition is among mortgage companies for top sales executives.
"This business has this ebb and flow in it," he said. "We have taken people from other firms and they have taken them from us; this is the nature of the business."
William Dacey Jr., vice president of Residential Money Centers, the Montvale, N.J., firm bought early last month by GMAC Mortgage Group, would neither confirm nor deny that Mr. McGovern and the account executives had signed on.
The former Alliance employees could not be reached for comment.
Mr. Stephenson of Superior Bank said Alliance would continue mining its highly selective niche. But he said Alliance was also focusing on developing its automobile lending.
"We do participate in a niche in the mortgage market and it has been very profitable for us," he said.