Bloomberg News

CARMEL, Ind. - Conseco Inc., whose shares have plunged 65% this year, could hire Gary C. Wendt, former chairman and chief executive officer of General Electric Capital Corp., before the end of the week, according to people familiar with the matter.

Mr. Wendt would succeed Stephen C. Hilbert, who was ousted from Conseco in April after unexpected losses at the company's consumer finance unit, the former Green Tree Financial Corp., which Mr. Hilbert acquired two years ago.

GE Capital would release Mr. Wendt from restrictions that prevent him from working for a rival in exchange for an equity stake in Conseco. Mr. Wendt could not be reached for comment. James Rosensteele, a spokesman for Conseco, said the company had no comment on its CEO search. A GE Capital spokesman declined to comment.

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