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Fomon Retires After 17 Years at Hutton Helm

May 07, 1987

Robert Fomon, who piloted E. F. Hutton Group Inc. for 17 years but started relinquishing power after a check-kiting scandal two years ago, retired Wednesday as chairman and a director of the brokerage giant.

Fomon, 62, will remain a consultant to Hutton for up to seven years and receive an unspecified annual fee, a company statement said. He is to receive a one-time retirement payment of $4 million and a supplemental pension besides his regular pension, in recognition of his 36-year career with the firm.

A replacement was not named, but securities industry analysts said it was reasonable to assume the job would go to Robert P. Rittereiser, a former Merrill Lynch & Co. executive who replaced Fomon as Hutton's president in 1985 and as CEO last November.

"I treasure the experiences and associations my career has offered me," Fomon said.

Fomon helped build Hutton into one of Wall Street's most successful brokerage firms with capital of nearly $1 billion.

But his career was marred two years ago by the check-overdraft scandal, in which the firm admitted it cheated banks during a 2 1/2-year period by writing checks for funds not immediately covered in its accounts. Hutton agreed to pay a $2-million fine and make restitution to the banks as part of its May, 1985, guilty plea.

Perrin Long of Lipper Analytical Securities noted that Fomon is the last of the senior management who was in control when the scandal occurred, and that "his image was tarnished considerably." Nevertheless, "he is well regarded among peers within the industry (in that) where Hutton is today basically is a tribute to Bob Fomon."

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