A pension fund advisory group said Thursday that it has sent a letter to the chairman of Countrywide Financial Corp.'s governance committee asking for an open selection process and proposing a candidate to succeed Henry Cisneros, who resigned from the board this week.

CtW Investment Group, which advises seven labor union pension funds that own less than 1% of Countrywide's shares, said it has "stepped forward to assist the nominating committee in establishing an independent process … to vet qualified candidates for the board."

The advisory group said it has suggested that the committee nominate Lynn E. Turner, a former chief accountant at the Securities and Exchange Commission, to succeed Mr. Cisneros.

William Patterson, the executive director of CtW Investment, said in a press release that Mr. Cisneros' successor "must not be chosen through a closed-door process aimed at further entrenching the current CEO." (Last week, the advisory group called for the resignation of Angelo Mozilo, Countrywide's chairman and chief executive.)

Rick Simon, a Countrywide spokesman, said a search is underway for a director, but he would not discuss CtW Investment's proposal. Mr. Turner, now a trustee of the Public Employees' Retirement Association of Colorado, could not be reached for comment.

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