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Savings and Loan Forms Investment Subsidiary

October 11, 1987|DAVID W. MYERS

Southern California Savings & Loan Assn., the Beverly Hills-based thrift purchased earlier this year by an investor group headed by former U. S. Treasury Secretary William E. Simon and former Federal Reserve Board vice chairman Preston Martin, has formed a so-called "direct-investment" subsidiary to invest an initial $30 million in California real estate.

The new subsidiary "is looking" at several types of properties, including residential, commercial and industrial, and land, said Ian Robertson, president of the thrift's new Direct Investment Co. subsidiary.

Robertson said his subsidiary "would like to stay in Ventura County and (the rest of) Southern California," although a public relations spokesman for the firm said investments in Northern California are also a possibility. Some of the money may be invested through joint-venture projects.

The new subsidiary has already taken a $1-million stake in a 600-unit residential project in San Diego, which so far has enjoyed strong sales, Robertson added.

Federal regulations allow savings and loan institutions to invest a maximum 3% of their assets directly in real estate. The rest of their assets are typically tied up in mortgage loans.

"If we continue to have the success we've had so far, we could apply to the Bank Board (for permission) to go above" the 3% mark, Robertson said.

Serious financial problems forced regulators to place the Beverly Hills-based thrift into receivership in June, 1985. It was put up for sale about a year later, and the group led by Simon and Martin completed its purchase of the S&L last May.

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