DLJdirect Opens Brick-and-Mortar Branch

JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- DLJdirect Inc., the online brokerage arm of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Inc., said Friday that it has opened its first retail branch in the United States.Blake Darcy, chief executive of DLJdirect, said the company is testing the branch model because it believes having a physical presence is important to investors. Indeed, competitors such as Charles Schwab Corp., Fidelity Investments, and TD Waterhouse Group Inc. allow customers to buy securities in branches as well as online.

DLJdirect's new office in Delray Beach, Fla., follows the opening of a Tokyo office earlier this year, Mr. Darcy said. He said the company expects to have several offices around the country. Further details were not available.

Customers may open accounts, place trades, and get information about the company at the branch, which is staffed by three investment counselors, a spokeswoman said.

The company said it had more than 930,000 customer accounts with over $29.4 billion of assets on March 31.

-- Cheryl Winokur


Ex-Freddie CFO Joins Loan Trade Site's Board

John P. Gibbons, who until March was Freddie Mac's chief financial officer, has joined the board of Ultraprise Corp., which runs an online mortgage exchange.Mr. Gibbons worked nine years for Freddie and is credited as the driving force behind the development in the late 1990s of Loan Prospector, its automated underwriting system. More recently he negotiated the McLean, Va., company's technology joint venture with Microsoft Corp. and several key lenders.

He came to Freddie from New York-based Merrill Lynch, whose financial institutions group he led. He began his career in the early 1980s as an analyst for Standard & Poor's in New York.

Before joining the Ultraprise board Mr. Gibbons helped the Dulles, Va., company draft plans to handle credit card portfolios, student and auto loans and the trading of mortgage- and asset-backed securities.

David A. Levine, chairman and chief executive of Ultraprise, said its online exchange will be equipped for trading those assets by the fourth quarter. The system is now used only to trade mortgage lohans.

-- Erick Bergquist


Single-Family Exec Leaving Fannie Mae

WASHINGTON -- Fannie Mae said Ann Logan, its executive vice president for single-family mortgage business, is leaving to pursue business opportunities in the financial services industry. Louis W. Hoyes will succeed her.Ms. Logan, 45, worked for Fannie for 15 years, serving as chief credit officer from 1993 to 1998. Prior to that she headed the company's northeastern regional office in Philadelphia.

As executive vice president for Fannie's single-family business, Ms. Logan was also responsible for the company's single family e-commerce strategy and its single-family customer technology.

Ms. Logan will stay with Fannie Mae during an unspecified period of transition.

Mr. Hoyes, 51, has served as Fannie's senior vice president of multifamily lending and investment since 1995. He was responsible for managing and marketing Fannie's portfolio of multifamily loans and investments.

He was a managing director of New York-based Citicorp Real Estate from 1985 to 1995 and a senior Citibank credit officer from 1982 to 1995.

-- Erick Bergquist


Conseco Will Sell Loans to Lehman

CARMEL, Ind. - Conseco Inc. agreed Friday to sell $1.5 billion of loans held by its consumer finance unit to Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. as a newly installed chief executive moved to raise cash and clear up a web of intracompany debts.The move was the first by interim chief executive David Harkins, named this month by buyout firm Thomas H. Lee Co. after the ouster of Stephen C. Hilbert. Lee invested $500 million last year in Conseco, a struggling insurer that has hired Lehman to arrange the sale of its Conseco Finance unit.

Of the sale's proceeds, $500 million will go to repaying intercompany debt owed to Conseco. Standard & Poor's last week cut Conseco's debt to junk bond status, citing slumping earnings and the management overhaul.

-- Bloomberg News


Richmond Fed Chief: Disprove 'Too Big to Fail'

CHICAGO -- Federal Reserve officials should limit loans to troubled banks -- even if some of them collapse as a result -- to help end the perception that some institutions are too big to fail, Fed Bank of Richmond President Al Broaddus said Friday.Bank supervisors are discussing a variety of proposals to "increase the likelihood that regulators would allow even a large insolvent bank to fail rather than propping it up at potentially substantial cost to taxpayers," Mr. Broaddus said in a speech to a banking conference sponsored by the Chicago Fed.

The proposals could be undermined by the willingness of the Fed to make loans to weak banks from its discount window, he said. "The Fed's discount facility exists primarily to assist healthy banks facing temporary liquidity problems," Mr. Broaddus said. "It should not be used when a bank's solvency is in question."

-- Bloomberg News

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