New owner of MNMC has expansion in mindWhen it buys...

BANKING & FINANCE

September 02, 1993|By David Conn | David Conn,Staff Writer

New owner of MNMC has expansion in mind

When it buys Baltimore-based Maryland National Mortgage Corp. from its corporate parent, MNC Financial Inc., next month, First Tennessee National Corp. plans to unleash the company and let it grow, says J. Kenneth Glass.

Mr. Glass is president of First Tennessee's in-state banking activities (excluding Memphis). He also heads consumer and commercial product marketing, which includes mortgage banking.

"Their growth has been restricted because of their parent company's situation," he said. "They've been selling the [mortgage] servicing rights" to generate revenue.

Last year, MNMC, through its 31 offices in six states, originated $3.3 billion in single-family mortgages and has a $4 billion servicing portfolio.

Along with growing the servicing portfolio, Mr. Glass says, Memphis-based First Tennessee plans to expand MNMC's office network. "It's part of a bigger strategy, and that is to grow our mortgage origination franchise nationwide."

Mr. Glass says there won't be any job cuts among MNMC's 800 employees, including the 300 in Baltimore, where the company has its headquarters and operations center. In fact, a dozen or so people will be needed for support functions, and most of them are likely to move over from MNC.

First Tennessee will pay about $115 million for MNMC. Mr. Glass says the valuation breaks down this way: $40 million for the servicing portfolio; $25 million for the origination business; about $25 million in cash and receivables; and $25 million in goodwill.

It's a tough job, but someone has to do it

Work, work, work.

Some people take it easy during the summer. Not Steven E. Norwitz, T. Rowe Price Associates Inc.'s spokesman and head of investor education programs.

Twice this summer, Mr. Norwitz made the ultimate sacrifice for his employer by selflessly agreeing to run a series of retirement planning seminars.

In Scandinavia and Russia. Aboard a Royal Cruise Lines luxury ship.

Actually, it's a pretty good marketing tool for T. Rowe. "It's mostly retired people -- maybe 70 to 75 percent," Mr. Norwitz said. "They tend to be higher-income people who've been successful in their careers. So it's a good target audience for us."

Up to 10 percent of the 2,000 or so passengers on each cruise have attended the free seminars led by Mr. Norwitz and other T. Rowe officials, including chief economist Paul Boltz. Royal offers discounts of 20 percent to 30 percent on cruises for T. Rowe customers when a seminar series is planned.

PD So far, Mr. Norwitz has attended three cruises, including one to

Mexico in January. But he doesn't think he'll go on next month's to the Mediterranean, the Riviera and Portugal.

"It's tough duty," he says. "Fortunately, we do attract a lot of

interest, unless you're up against bingo at the same time."

Signet gains permission to sell variable annuity

Banks used to look like caterpillars, inching along with their staid line of traditional banking products. Lately, though, the industry has emerged from its cocoon, offering a colorful array of investment products.

Signet Banking Corp., of Richmond, Va., is further along than most. And this week it spread its wings even more: The company received permission in Maryland to sell a new variable-annuity investment product.

With a minimum $5,000 investment (and minimum $500 annual contributions thereafter), customers can open an account whose earnings and capital gains are tax-deferred until they are withdrawn, typically at retirement, says Bill Roberts, a vice president of Signet Financial Services Inc., the company's investment arm.

Customers can choose among money market, government bond stock mutual funds, as well as other investment options.

Earlier this year, Signet Financial began offering a new asset-allocation account, allowing the company and client to weight investment categories within a portfolio. Once investments are made, a computer adjusts the account each month to maintain the allocation mix. The minimum investment is $100,000, and the annual fee is 1 percent of assets.

That may not sound much like a bank, Mr. Roberts acknowledges. "We like to think of it as being on the leading

edge."

Key appointments abound in industry

The headhunters were hopping this week:

* Hugh A. Woltzen, a longtime employee of MNC Financial, lately as executive vice president for wholesale banking, has moved to Grotech Capital Group Inc. Mr. Woltzen, a CPA, was appointed a managing director and general partner at the Timonium-based venture capital firm.

* Edward K. Dunn III, an associate at Piper & Marbury, has become a vice president at Brown Advisory & Trust Co., the newly created joint venture of Alex. Brown Inc. and Glenmede Corp. of Philadelphia.

* Legg Mason Inc. has two new security analysts:

Susan D. Betso, who has been managing equity and fixed-income portfolios at Fidelity & Deposit Co., will focus on segments of health care and energy.

And Ann M. Herwig, an analyst and fund manager at Mercantile-Safe Deposit & Trust Co., has moved to Legg to follow capital-spending-related companies. Both are chartered financial analysts.

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