California Federal Bank has continued to beef up its management ranks by wooing top executives away from commercial bank competitors.
The $55 billion-asset thrift announced Friday that it has hired Wells Fargo & Co. credit card chief Deborah E. Moore to be executive vice president in charge of alternative delivery, consumer lending, and product management.
Also hired were two BankAmerica Corp. executives: Ken Coopman, who is to become executive vice president and director of commercial banking on Feb. 17; and Fred Cannon, who is to be executive vice president and investor relations director as of March 1.
"It's a very good time to be hiring talented senior executives in this market," said Carl Webb, California Federal's president and chief operating officer, in an interview. "It has been particularly easy recruiting with all the dislocation."
California Federal's parent, First Nationwide Holdings, merged with Golden State Bancorp Sept. 11. Since then, the company has been able to capitalize on the displacement at Wells Fargo and BankAmerica, each of which are in the midst of their own mergers. California Federal's success in cherry-picking talent has helped the company's push to become more like a commercial bank, Mr. Webb said.
"This is real tangible evidence that we are committed to the philosophy of being as bank-like as possible," he said. "We've probably got another couple of positions to fill on the margins, but this goes a long way to getting us where we need to go."
Perhaps the biggest coup was the hiring of Ms. Moore, the former Norwest Corp. president of credit card services who held on to that position after the Minneapolis-based banking company merged with Wells Fargo Nov. 2.
"To get somebody of her experience and her importance in the Norwest organization is a coup," said Ben Crabtree, an analyst with Dain Rauscher Wessels in Minneapolis. "She's going to be very influential."
Cal Fed retail chief Scott A. Kisting, himself a former Norwest executive hired by Cal Fed Sept. 1, is responsible for attracting Ms. Moore to the San Francisco-based thrift company, Mr. Webb said. The two were close colleagues at Norwest, he said. Ms. Moore is to report to Mr. Kisting in her new role.
A Wells Fargo spokesman said the bank has launched an internal search for her successor.
Mr. Coopman will join Cal Fed after 31 years with BankAmerica, which on Sept. 30 merged with NationsBank Corp. He will succeed Terry D. Hess, who will leave Cal Fed for personal reasons, the thrift said. Mr. Coopman will be based in Glendale, Calif., and report to Mr. Kisting.
A 16-year BankAmerica veteran, Mr. Cannon will report to Mr. Webb. Mr. Cannon was most recently BankAmerica's head of investor relations.
Also on Friday, Cal Fed said it hired Mark Metzinger to be senior vice president and manager of a new Orange County commercial banking office. Mr. Metzinger, who began working at Cal Fed Wednesday, most recently was senior vice president of commercial banking at Irvine, Calif.-based Westcorp. Before joining Westcorp, Mr. Metzinger spent 20 years at BankAmerica. He will report to Mr. Coopman.