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THE BOTTOM LINE / Bill Ritter

New Jersey Missing the Signal

January 14, 1986|BILL RITTER

Former executives of Signal Cos. in La Jolla have the option of either signing up with Allied Signal in New Jersey, transferring to a company subsidiary elsewhere or receiving a healthy lump of severance pay--as much as nine months' worth in some instances.

A final decision isn't due from the 160 or so workers at the company's posh La Jolla headquarters until the end of the month. But no one has yet opted to transfer to New Jersey.

Meanwhile, the outward flow of former Signal executives has begun. Last week, former Signal deputy controller Edward Kavanaugh was hired by The Titan Corp. of San Diego as senior vice president and chief financial officer.

New Name a Sign of the Future

After last week's shareholder approval of Great American First Savings Bank's merger with Home Federal Savings & Loan of Arizona, Great American Chairman Gordon Luce announced that the bank in Arizona would now be known as Great American Home Federal Savings & Loan of Arizona.

The new name prompted Home Federal Chairman and Chief Executive Thomas C. Weir to quip that "I don't think the sign ordinance in Arizona will allow that large a sign."

Meanwhile, PaineWebber managing director W. Peter Slusser also attended last week's Great American shareholder meeting, singing the praises of interstate mergers between healthy savings and loans.

Slusser called such moves "defensive . . . to help strengthen the industry. It won't be long before you have complete interstate banking and the S&Ls, to defend their positions economically, have got to respond."

The downside of interstate S&L mergers, he added, is that communities may lose some local control over how the S&L invests.

Imperial's Ears Are Popping

As Carlsbad-based Imperial Airlines starts its restructuring drive after last week's purchase of the company by an unidentified group of Eastern investors, officials are mulling schedule changes.

Palm Springs, which Imperial served until its cutbacks last year, may be counted out.

The reason, according to newly appointed President Henry Voss, is that, with Imperial's fleet of unpressurized aircraft, landing in the Palm Springs desert area is an expensive endeavor.

The planes have to clear the San Jacinto Mountains at 11,000 feet and, because of the unpressurized cabins, can descend a maximum 500 feet per minute. "And at 11,000 feet," Voss said, "that burns a lot of fuel."

Lawyers Beware

Another in a long list of signs that it could be tough going for lawyers who find themselves on the wrong end of the law: U.S. District Judge J. Lawrence Irving on Monday sentenced San Diego attorney Burton Berman to 30 days in jail, five years' probation and a $1,000 fine after Berman pleaded guilty to conspiracy to transport money out of the country without filing the required Treasury Department reports.

The case was part of a 1982 scheme out of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Berman was subsequently indicted on four felony counts.

What made Irving's action unusual was that both the federal Probation Department and the U.S. attorney's office had recommended probation.

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