TCF Names Successor to CEO

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TCF Financial Corp. of Wayzata, Minn., announced Monday that Lynn A. Nagorske, its president and chief operating officer, had been designated to succeed William A. Cooper as chief executive on Jan. 1, 2006.

Mr. Cooper has signed a contract to continue as chairman of the board from 2006 through 2008, according to a press release. He and Mr. Nagorske were in a board meeting Tuesday and unavailable for comment.

Mr. Nagorske, 48, joined the company as controller of TCF Bank in 1986. He has been involved in nearly every aspect of TCF Financial's operations during those years.

Lana Chan, an analyst with Advest Inc. in New York, said that Mr. Cooper, 61, has been talking about retirement for many years and that Mr. Nagorske is the logical successor because he has been Mr. Cooper's second-in-command for a long time.

"They've had a very consistent strategy for many years now, and I think Lynn has been there behind Bill to support that strategy," Ms. Chan said.

Scott Siefers of Sandler O'Neill & Partners LP in New York said he foresees no major changes in TCF's approach. The $12.3 billion-asset company is generally conservative and will probably remain so under Mr. Nagorske, a former accountant, Mr. Siefers said.

Moreover, with Mr. Cooper retaining his chairmanship, Mr. Nagorske would have a sounding board, Mr. Siefers said.

Ben C. Crabtree of Piper Jaffray & Co. in Minneapolis said that even though the announcement was expected, it is significant because Mr. Cooper has been the company's face for two decades. The former police officer took over a company that was in shambles in 1985 and turned it into one of the nation's most profitable retail banks.

"I can't imagine them facing big strategic issues where Bill wouldn't be very involved in the process," Mr. Crabtree said.

Wall Street seemed to take the announcement - made after the markets closed Monday - in stride. The stock closed Tuesday at $28.52, down 0.83%.

Analysts said that the news did not rattle investors because the changeover will not take place for another year.

"Having the announcement out there will help transition from Bill to Lynn more seamlessly," Ms. Chan said.

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