Walter C. Klein, a well-known mortgage banker who managed such lenders as First Nationwide Mortgage and Sears Mortgage during his long career, died Sept. 28 after a battle with renal carcinoma. He was 66. Klein was the chairman and chief executive of Sears Mortgage, later known as PNC Mortgage, from 1989 to 1995. (Years later PNC Financial Services Group Inc. sold the Chicago-area unit to Washington Mutual Inc. JPMorgan Chase & Co. acquired Wamu's banking operations last year.)
By 1996 he was the president and CEO of First Nationwide in Frederick, Md. In 2002 Citigroup Inc. bought First Nationwide's parent company, Golden State Bancorp Inc. of San Francisco. Klein stayed for a few months in a transition mode and then moved on.
During his career he also worked at the lenders Lomas and Nettleton Co. of Dallas and Advance Mortgage Corp. of Southfield, Mich.; and as an executive consultant at Cerberus Operations and Advisory Co. and Aztec American Bank.
Klein is survived by his wife, Patricia, a daughter and two grandchildren.