Donald B. Hebb Jr., president of Alex. Brown Inc. for the past six years, plans to leave that position early next year to return to the company's investment banking division, it was announced today.
Hebb, 48, said his move is not connected with the downturn in the company's business, but rather he wants to return to investment banking. "I've done it [as president] for as long a period as I would like," he said today.
"Although participation in the management of the firm has been a rewarding and satisfying undertaking where I feel much has been accomplished, increasingly my interests lie with serving the firm's clients more directly," Hebb said in a prepared statement.
The announcement comes about two weeks after the Baltimore investment firm terminated 34 workers, or about 2 percent of its 1,750-employee national work force.
The layoffs were primarily among analysts, investment banking employees and their support personnel. A few stock traders also were involved.
In the third quarter, Alex. Brown lost $3.1 million, or 21 cents per share, compared to a net income of $6.3 million, or 38 cents per share, for the 1989 third quarter.
An exact date has not been set for Hebb to step down as president, but he expects to do so in February or March. The decision comes now as the company is making plans for the coming year, he said.
Hebb earned $929,907 in 1989 and was the top-paid officer at Alex. Brown, according to the company's proxy statement for its last annual meeting.
Until May, Hebb also had been chief executive officer of th190-year-old company. Hebb at that time dropped the CEO title, and a management committee consisting of Alex. Brown chairman Benjamin H. Griswold, chief operating officer A.B. Krongard and Hebb had operated as a collective chief executive officer, Krongard said.
Griswold and Krongard will continue to be responsible for the overall performance of the firm, according to a news release from the company.
To replace Hebb, the company has formed a special committee of directors to search for a new chief executive officer. The chairman of the committee is Rodman L. Drake, and the other members are Thomas C. Barry, Steven Muller and Andre W. Brewster.
Hebb has spent his entire professional life at Alex. Brown, starting in 1970 in the investment banking division. He has held a variety of positions, including vice president, general partner and managing partner. He will continue to be a managing partner in his new position.
He has an undergraduate degree from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, along with degrees from Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School. He is a native of Butler, in Baltimore County.