Employees of Beneficial Corp. worried about its impending sale may take comfort from some news from the buyer, Household International.

According to an internal memo circulated recently in both companies, Beneficial executives have been chosen to head two key divisions of the merged company.

Beneficial's Dan O'Brien will head the combined insurance companies, and Ross Longfield of Beneficial National Bank USA will head the private-label credit card business, according to an April 16 internal memo.

Household Life Insurance and Beneficial Insurance Group will maintain separate names but become one operating group, the memo said. Ron Bruckert, chief executive of Household Life, will become a regional general manager at HFC, the company's consumer finance unit, where he will assist in integration of the companies' branches.

Household Retail Services and Beneficial National Bank USA are combining to form a private-label credit card business that will also use both brand names. Chuck Colip, chief executive of Household's unit, will become deputy managing director and chief operating officer of the new group, and continue as president of Household Bank.

The news of the appointments was the first to emerge since the deal was announced April 7.

The new leaders will "now move quickly to convene their integration teams and begin planning to put the organizational structure in place," the memo said.

In addition, the companies have filed to surrender Beneficial's banking license, and plan to operate the entire unit under a federal savings bank charter, said Craig Stream, director of investor relations at Household.

Household, based in Prospect Heights, Ill., reported Thursday that profits in the quarter ended March 31 were up 30% from a year earlier, at $170.3 million. Earnings per share increased 18.5%, to $1.54.

Beneficial, based in Wilmington, Del., reported first-quarter earnings of $187.5 million, up 86%. (See back page for more Beneficial results.)

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