Michael M. Massella, formerly of American Home Funding, today joins Fleet Mortgage Group as senior vice president of national retail and wholesale loan production.
Mr. Massella, who was senior vice president and national production manager at American Home, is the second executive to leave the Richmond, Va., company for Fleet Mortgage in as many months. American Home Funding's parent, Rochester Community Savings Bank, was bought by Charter One Financial Inc. two weeks ago.
Mr. Massella, 49, is to report to Thomas C. Palmer, Fleet's executive vice president for loan production, who left American Home last month.
The new executive is to focus on increasing contact with Fleet Bank's mortgage customers in the Northeast. In addition, he will oversee Fleet Mortgage's broker division, which has offices mainly in the West.
Mr. Massella "has a proven track record in expanding production capacity and recruiting the best salespeople to achieve that expansion," Mr. Palmer said in a written statement.
The appointment is the latest of several changes in the production unit since Fleet Financial Group, the Boston parent of Fleet Mortgage, named Michael J. Torke as Fleet Mortgage's president in January.
Fleet Mortgage, the nation's fifth-largest originator, is updating its technology. The bank took a $41 million impairment charge in the second quarter related to an investment in a new front-end origination system, according to Fleet Financial Group's latest quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
In March Fleet Mortgage exited retail lending on a national basis, selling some of its retail branches in the Midwest to PNC Bank. Fleet Mortgage is coordinating its retail production efforts through the Fleet Bank franchise in the Northeast.
In an interview with American Banker last month, Mr. Palmer said Fleet Mortgage would consider reestablishing a national retail presence only if it can profitably originate loans through the bank branches.
Most of Fleet's origination volume comes from its correspondent division, which buys loans from smaller banks and thrifts.
Fleet Mortgage originated $9.6 billion in the first half, a 22% decline from the first half of 1996.