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The biz: An inside look at business people and issues

CEO sings about health care hire

Come October, Glenn D. Waters will succeed retiring Phil Beauchamp as president of Morton Plant Mease in Clearwater and head the organization's four acute-care hospitals, 7,300 employees and related health services. So says Stephen Mason, CEO of BayCare Health System, whose regional health care system includes Morton Plant. Waters now serves as chief operating officer of Moses Cone Health System in Greensboro, N.C., where he has worked for six years. And he's apparently got a sense of humor. A few years ago, in a community effort to raise more funds for the area United Way, Waters reportedly dressed as a long-haired Cher to accompany a Sonny played by Moses Cone's CEO.

Banking boss says FDIC spells security

Alex Sanchez has his own solution for avoiding the bad apples in the mortgage business: Do business with only an FDIC-insured bank. Of course, his opinion might have something to do with the fact that he's president of the Florida Bankers Association. Sanchez was reacting to recent media reports of people with criminal records working as mortgage originators. "I'm outraged that a Florida family would have to sit across the table from someone that's a scumball." He said people may not like it when a banker tells them they can't afford a loan. "But at the end of the day, I think people would rather hear that than 'We're sorry, but your mortgage broker is in jail and all your money is gone.' "

Analyst cites 'pure opinion' as suit defense

And in a final word on risky banks … Lutz-based stock analyst Dick Bove's report putting BankAtlantic in or near the "danger zone" for failure was pure opinion that he's entitled to express, he and his company said in a motion to dismiss a suit the bank filed against them. BankAtlantic sued Bove and Ladenburg Thalmann last month for defamation and negligence, claiming he misrepresented its financial condition because he analyzed numbers for the holding company instead of the bank. Bove's motion, filed Monday in Broward County Circuit Court, said the bank doesn't have legal grounds for its claim. Bove is known for stirring up controversy with his reports.

A call for more proactive regulation

Speaking of the FDIC, a recent Washington Post article quotes critics questioning the handling of some recent bank failures that resulted in unnecessary expenses for the FDIC's insurance fund. "In some of these cases, I believe regulators should act sooner than later to prevent future losses to the (FDIC insured deposit) fund," said longtime Floridian Ken Thomas, a lecturer in finance at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Former St. Joe boss gets back in swing

It's the end of an era at land-owning giant St. Joe. Co. with former CEO Peter Rummell exiting brief retirement to become CEO of the golfing business Nicklaus Cos. Rummell, saying he "flunked retirement," was lured back after a friend from New York Private Bank & Trust, the financial partner of Nicklaus Cos., called to ask his advice on the search for the Nicklaus CEO, says the Times-Union in Jacksonville, where St. Joe is headquartered. "We started talking about ideas, and the more we talked, the more I realized how compelling [the Nicklaus firm] would be," Rummell told the paper. He said the chance to work with Jack Nicklaus, winner of 18 professional major championships, was a big factor. "Jack is an icon," Rummell said. "His brand goes beyond golf."

Times Staff Writers

The biz: An inside look at business people and issues 08/16/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 11:40am]
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[The New York Times file photo]