Nearly seven years after taking the helm of America's Community Bankers, Paul A. Schosberg said Tuesday that he will resign at yearend.

Mr. Schosberg, 60, said he plans to move back to Westchester County, N.Y., home to his horse farm, his wife's business, and less than a 90- minute drive from his grandchildren.

"I intend to keep working," he said. "I am the classic type-A personality. I am not the rocking-chair type."

But he said he will not entertain employment offers until after leaving the thrift group. "I am going to stay totally focused on ACB for the next 10 months," Mr. Schosberg said.

E. Lee Baird, the group's chairman and president of First Federal Bank, Hazelton, Pa., said a search committee will be formed soon to find a new president. "We are extremely sad to see Paul decide to leave," she said. "He has done an excellent job to get us where we are today."

Mr. Schosberg is the first president of the ACB, which was formed in 1992 by the union of the U.S. League of Savings Institutions and the National Council of Community Bankers.

When he took office, the industry was still reeling from the disastrous 1980s during which most thrifts were losing money and many failed. But he was able to unite the predominantly East Coast savings banks with West Coast thrifts to form a political machine that scored several significant legislative victories, including the 1996 capitalization of the thrift insurance fund. He has also staved off several legislative attempts to kill the unitary thrift charter.

Charles J. Koch, chairman of Charter One Financial in Cleveland credited Mr. Schosberg with repairing the thrift industry's reputation on Capitol Hill. "He has been a tremendous advocate for our industry," said Mr. Koch, who was on the committee that hired Mr. Schosberg. "He has done a yeoman's job of improving our profile and the respect of the organization with Congress."

Before entering the banking industry in 1974, Mr. Schosberg had been chief of staff to two U.S. representatives. He was president of the New York Savings League for 18 years but wound up with the No. 2 job after the group's 1992 merger with the state's savings bank association. As ACB president, Mr. Schosberg earned $481,000 in 1997, including a $70,000 bonus.

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