Daiger is retiring from MNC FinancialWilliam H. Daiger...

BANKING & FINANCE

February 11, 1993|By David Conn

Daiger is retiring from MNC Financial

William H. Daiger Jr., a 37-year veteran of MNC Financial Inc. and its predecessor companies, has announced that he will retire this month.

Mr. Daiger, 57, was president and chief executive of Maryland National Bank and a director of the parent company from 1984 to 1991, and has served the company in an advisory capacity since then. From 1982 through 1989, he also was chairman of MBNA America, the credit card subsidiary that was spun off in a public offering in 1991.

Mr. Daiger has long been a fixture in Baltimore's public life, serving on the boards of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Walters Art Gallery and the Neighborhood Housing Association, and advisory boards to Loyola College's business school and Johns Hopkins University's continuing education school

Mr. Daiger was in the top ranks of the company before and during its worst periods. But many in the industry say that he didn't so much orchestrate the company's ill-fated commercial real estate lending program as he allowed it to happen.

"We've been through a lot of change over the last couple of years," Mr. Daiger said yesterday. "We have new management, they're doing an excellent job, and I think it's time for me to look elsewhere." He said he's looking at a number of opportunities.

Speaking of MBNA, the Delaware company said yesterday that it has appointed Lance L. Weaver as vice chairman and chief administrative officer, as well as a director of the company.

Fed backs FCNB Corp.in HomeTown dispute

FCNB Corp., the parent of Frederick County National Bank, said last fall that it only wanted to invest in HomeTown Bancorp of Myersville, not acquire it. HomeTown, parent of Myersville Bank, didn't buy that argument and complained to the Federal Reserve Board that FCNB's attempt to add 10 percent to its nearly 5 percent stake in HomeTown was a "creeping tender offer" that marked the start of a takeover.

Two weeks ago, the Fed came down on FCNB's side: The purchase of the thinly traded shares -- 4,505 to be exact -- could proceed (pending another 30-day waiting period imposed by the Justice Department).

The Fed, in a six-page ruling, rejected HomeTown's argument that FCNB was looking to build a banking empire across central Maryland, and that holding 14.9 percent of HomeTown's stock would have given FCNB de facto control.

The Fed did, however, include several "hands off" requirements to ensure that FCNB stays true to its promise of non-control. The company won't acquire 25 percent of HomeTown's stock without the Fed's approval, it won't try to place anyone on HomeTown's board, and it won't try to exercise control over HomeTown's management.

In the meantime, FCNB President A. Patrick Linton says he doesn't even know if the 4,505 shares are still for sale on the private market.

"With the publicity and all that's happened in the interim," he said, "the last thing I heard was that stock had gone away."

2 research analysts leave Alex. Brown

Chalk it up to coincidence. Two research analysts at Alex. Brown Inc. have moved to different pastures in the last two weeks.

Joseph Payne, who covered computer systems, has moved to Kemper Securities in Chicago as a senior vice president.

He was lured to Kemper, he said, by the opportunity to build and shape a new technology research group. It'll be based on Mr. Payne's view that the companies that make computer hardware, software and support systems are interconnected in the marketplace, and shouldn't necessarily be divided among analysts.

Mr. Payne said he hasn't given up on Baltimore. The job keeps him traveling quite a bit, so he's keeping his home and plans to commute, at least on weekends and probably a few days a week, too.

Former Alex. Brown retailing analyst Sally Smith, on the other hand, won't have such a long commute: She's moved two blocks south on Calvert Street to Legg Mason's money-green office tower. Ms. Smith could not be reached for comment.

Price launches 2nd Md. tax-free bond fund

T. Rowe Price Associates is bullish on Maryland. This week it launched its second Maryland tax-free bond fund.

Part of the reason lies in the growing popularity of single-state tax-free municipal bond funds. There are more than 25 for Maryland alone, Price's 6-year-old Maryland Municipal Bond TC Fund being the largest among them. In the 13 months, that fund has grown from $450 million in assets to $685 million.

But according to fund manager Mary Miller, bond investors want less volatility. So the new fund, called the Maryland Short-Term Tax-Free Bond Fund, will maintain a maximum weighted average maturity of only three years.

The fund will rely more on local issuers than state bonds because of the higher yields offered by cities and counties with a lower bond rating than Maryland's triple-A.

There's one more reason for Price's confidence in a new state tax-free fund: taxes. Last year the General Assembly raised the income tax rate by a percentage point, and gave localities the right to raise their "piggyback" tax rates to 60 percent of the state rate.

And if President Clinton boosts the top federal tax rate to 36 percent from 31 percent, "We should become even more attractive," Ms. Miller says.

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