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Head of Wedbush Nominated to Board of Great American Bank

March 28, 1987|GREG JOHNSON | Times Staff Writer

SAN DIEGO — Edward M. Wedbush, the president of a financial services firm that owns 10.3% of Great American First Savings Bank's outstanding shares, has been nominated to serve on Great American's board, the S&L said Friday.

Los Angeles-based Wedbush Corp. in November received federal regulatory approval to increase its stock holdings in the San Diego-based savings and loan to 24.9%. Wedbush Corp. has since increased its holdings from 9.2% to 10.3%.

However, Wedbush officials repeatedly have categorized the company's Great American stock acquisitions as an investment, not as a takeover bid of the thrift.

The regulatory agreement reached in November limited Wedbush Corp. to just one seat on Great American's 14-member board and prohibited it from attempting to take over Great American's management.

That agreement showed that Wedbush has a "high degree of confidence in our management," and that Wedbush views Great American as a "strong profitable company with a bright future," Great American Chairman Gordon Luce said in November.

Wedbush and Alex N. Campbell, a former member of the board of Los Angeles Federal Savings Bank, on Friday were nominated by Great American's nominating committee to serve three-year terms.

Replaces Baillie

Wedbush will take the place of the retiring John K. Baillie, a former chairman of the board at Los Angeles Federal, which last year merged with Great American. Wedbush also serves as president and chief executive of Wedbush Corp.'s Wedbush Securities Inc., a New York Stock Exchange member securities firm.

Campbell, who was nominated to fill a newly created seat, is a controlling shareholder of Campbell Automotive Group, which owns nine new car dealerships, two auto body shops and an auto-leasing agency in Orange County.

The two were invited to join the Great American board because of "their wide knowledge of the financial industry," Luce said on Friday.

Great American reported $13.1 billion in assets at the end of 1986.

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