Bank Maryland president resigns Board wanted 'another style'.

April 03, 1991|By Ross Hetrick | Ross Hetrick,Evening Sun Staff

Just 11 months after taking the helm of Bank Maryland Corp., E. Neil Jacobs has resigned as president and chief executive officer, citing differences in "style" between him and the bank's board of directors.

"The directors thought they would like another style going forward," Jacobs said yesterday. "My style is very direct."

He declined to say what style the board desired.

Bank Maryland chairman H.F. "Bert" Criste will act as interim chief executive officer while a committee of directors searches for a new president and chief executive officer. With 9.9 percent of the stock, Criste is the largest shareholder of Towson-based Bank Maryland.

Jacobs, who resigned last Thursday, said he has no immediate job offers.

Theresa D. Livesey, vice president and chief financial officer of Bank Maryland, said Jacobs' departure was a mutual decision by Jacobs and the board. "This is something they both agreed to do," she said. "It was decided for him to move [on]."

Bank Maryland, the holding company for the Bank of Maryland, was founded in 1987 with the goal of creating a collection of local banks that would retain their identities and would have real local control.

By the beginning of 1990, there were six such banks under the Bank of Maryland umbrella and assets had grown from $86.9 million in 1987 to $237.6 million at the end of 1989. However, the holding company has not shown an annual profit since it was formed.

The bank holding company last year also increased its provisions for loan losses to $5.9 million -- more than four times the amount that was set aside for bad loans in 1989. The company also wrote off $3.3 million in mortgage sub-servicing rights.

As a result, the company had a loss last year of $11 million, or $5.40 a share, compared with a loss of $1.3 million, or 70 cents per share, for 1989.

In an initial public offering in December 1987, the stock sold for $25 a share and $12 million in capital was raised. At the end of March, the stock had dropped to a bid of $3.25 a share and the ask price was $4.25 a share.

Before taking the position at Bank Maryland at the end of last April, Jacobs was an executive vice president with Equitable Bank N.A. before it was acquired by MNC Financial Inc. He had more than 25 years of experience in the banking business. Jacobs replaced J. Clarence Jameson 3rd, one of the founders of Bank Maryland.

One of Jacobs first tasks was to consolidate the various banking operations and institute efficiencies.

"I was really hired to fix things up," Jacobs said. "I've tried my best."

Jacobs said the transition comes while conditions are "pretty stable" at the bank holding company. "They've got good people and they are a good bank," he said.

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