Until W. Kirk Wycoff came along, Progress Financial Corp. rarely strayed from its core business of making residential loans.

But since Mr. Wycoff joined Progress in 1991 as its chairman and chief executive officer, the once ailing, $260 million-asset thrift company has plunged headfirst into such nonthrift-and even nonbank-activities as high- tech lending, venture capital funding, and telemarketing.

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