J. Michael Berry, chief manager of the Resolution Trust Corp.'s West Coast office, will soon be replaced by a new director, marking the fourth change in the regional operation's top management in the past 14 months.
RTC officials said a new director has been chosen for the Costa Mesa office, but the person's identity is not being released pending approval of agency officials in Washington. Approval is expected within the next few weeks.
Berry's reassignment comes after the recent resignation of two top deputies: J. Alan Blodgett, deputy director of asset and real estate management, and Dale Duncan, deputy director of operations and administration.
Sherwin Koopmans, director of the RTC's Western regional headquarters in Denver, dismissed reports of differences between Berry and his superiors, describing Berry as a "valuable" member of the management team. "He plans to stay on and we want him to stay on, either in the coastal office or elsewhere," Koopmans said.
He said the growth of the Costa Mesa operation was the major reason that Berry is being replaced. The office handles $9 billion in assets from defunct thrifts in California and operates 11 other failed thrifts that have a total of about $26 billion in assets. It plans to increase its work force by two-thirds this year to 600.
The expansion raised the pay level of the chief manager up a grade, forcing the agency to advertise the position as open. Berry is being paid an annual salary of $95,000 plus a $15,000 cost-of-living adjustment for working in Southern California. The new position pays up to $115,000, plus an adjustment of up to $17,000.
Berry, who has been chief manager for seven months, will probably stay on in another capacity. He was one of 300 applicants and one of 14 people who interviewed for the post.