Parent Santa Barbara S&L; Names Brinkerhoff Chief

Philip R. Brinkerhoff, a 41-year-old veteran of the savings and loan industry, was named president, chief executive and a director Monday of the troubled Financial Corp. of Santa Barbara and its operating subsidiary, Santa Barbara Savings & Loan Assn.

Brinkerhoff, who has been executive vice president and chief lending officer at Financial Corp. of America, was the last top executive left at FCA from the Charles W. Knapp regime.

David L. Tilton, who has been chairman and president of the Santa Barbara company, will "continue in an active role as chairman of the board," a company announcement said.

"We are particularly pleased to have Phil Brinkerhoff become our chief executive officer," Tilton said in the statement. "His talent and his experience will be of inestimable value in leading us in the implementation of our new strategic business plan and returning the company to strength and profitability."

That strategic plan was formed last June when a large investment by Ivan F. Boesky operating through his Vagabond Hotels Inc. fell through, Tilton said in a telephone interview Monday. The decision was made to restructure the firm and finance a recovery through internal sources, he said.

The plan called for selling 34 of 74 offices throughout the state in a retrenchment that would permit the firm to concentrate on its principal marketing area in the counties around Santa Barbara, Tilton said.

The branch office sale, which is largely completed, is expected to raise $30 million to $35 million. That should help offset losses that accumulated throughout 1984, including a $9.9-million loss in the third quarter and a $9.8-million loss in the second quarter. The firm has been losing money for several years, Tilton said.

The Santa Barbara firm has suffered from a large proportion of low-interest fixed-rate loans that created a negative interest rate spread, Tilton said. The firm does not have a bad loan problem, he added.

Brinkerhoff was on vacation and could not be reached for comment. But Tilton said Brinkerhoff's reasons for leaving FCA were to "move on to something new and different and to get into a position where he was on top in a company. His motivation for leaving FCA was not because of the condition there or anything that was not to his liking."

Brinkerhoff goes to the Santa Barbara firm with plenty of experience in dealing with ailing savings and loans. He was one of three top executives whom Knapp named to the office of the president last August in an effort to placate federal regulators concerned about FCA's rapid growth and liquidity problems.

In August, Knapp was forced to resign. John Darr and Arthur Shingler, two other Knapp appointees to the office of the president, also have left FCA in recent months.

"We are very sorry to be losing such a talented executive. We wish Phil the very best of luck and thank him for the tremendous contributions he has made to this company." said Carol Schatz, a spokeswoman for FCA. Brinkerhoff was president of the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., known as Freddie Mac, in 1982 when he left to become president of First Charter Corp., then parent of American Savings & Loan Assn. First Charter merged with FCA in 1983.

Brinkerhoff is a graduate of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, and the Harvard Law School.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World