Just as the stars of the champion Boston Celtics of the 1980s eventually left one by one, the start-up team of Residential Services Corporation of America is losing its third member to retirement.
Howard B. Culang, whose last position at Residential Services was vice chairman, is retiring at the end of this month. He said he plans to start a small investment bank with a former colleague from his days at Citibank. He also plans to open a health club with an emphasis on teenage athletes, he said.
His plans are "much more boring" than those of two other founders who already retired, he said. K. Terrance Wakefield retired in December 1993 to build a golf course outside Milwaukee. Robert W. Williams retired in June 1994 to sail in Florida and tend to his investments in an art gallery and a restaurant in St. Louis.
As a member of the team that started Residential Services, Mr. Culang enjoyed a considerable payout when a five-year incentive plan came due in 1992. At the time, it was reported that the company's rapid growth caused the payouts to be much larger than expected when the plan was designed.
Mr. Culang, 48, said his decision to leave was not accelerated by the announcement that Prudential Home Mortgage, a unit of Residential Services, was for sale.
"My decision has zero to do with the announcement. It probably prolonged my stay there to make sure everything went smoothly," he said. He discussed his plans to leave many months ago, he said.
"This was a hard thing to leave," Mr. Culang said. "It took 18 months to separate myself from it. I helped create it, and even when it is time, it is not easy to go," he said.
But he is confident with the management in place now, he said. "It is not something you do on a whim," he said of retirement and leaving his colleagues.
One of the primary reasons for his departure, Mr. Culang said, was to try something different. Before his venture at RSC he was in the mortgage business at Citibank.
"It's my best talent," he said of the mortgage business, "but I want to try something small with bigger transactions."
Marvin I. Moskowitz, chief executive of Residential Services, said Mr. Culang had a strong commitment to the company since both men arrived there in 1986, and saying goodbye to Howard was like losing a member of his family, he said.
In a statement addressing Mr. Culang's departure, Mr. Moskowitz's farewell echoed Arnold Schwarzenegger in "The Terminator."
"Hasta la vista, Howard," it read.