1st Fidelity Executive Gets Phila. Bank Post

Posted: December 17, 1988

Fidelity Bank got a new chief executive officer yesterday, as Leslie E. Goodman was named to replace Bernard J. Morgan, who resigned Tuesday night.

Morgan quit in a shake-up that also claimed Harold W. Pote, president and chief executive officer of the Philadelphia bank's parent, First Fidelity Bancorp. of Newark, N.J.

Goodman, 45, had been senior lending officer of First Fidelity Bank, the New Jersey side of First Fidelity's regional banking operation.

First Fidelity cited expected losses of $250 million to $300 million on loans made by Fidelity Bank when it announced the resignations of Pote and Morgan. Pote had been head of Fidelity Bank before the Philadelphia institution and its parent, Fidelcor Inc., were merged with First Fidelity Bancorp. in February.

In an interview yesterday, Robert R. Ferguson Jr., First Fidelity's chairman, said Pote had a "lack of credit control" at Fidelcor.

Bank insiders have said that Pote and Morgan were forced out during a bitter meeting of the First Fidelity board of directors. At the meeting, the directors also fired Jean-Pierre Galy, head of Fidelity Bank's international department in London.

Ferguson, who has assumed Pote's positions at First Fidelity, said Goodman's "experience and perspective will strengthen Fidelity Bank's management team as it works to resume the bank's record of profitability."

First Fidelity said Goodman was selected by Fidelity Bank's board of directors. A member of that board, speaking on condition of anomymity, said, ''We weren't given choices; we were just told there were other names considered" by Ferguson.

The director said Rosemarie Greco, Fidelity Bank's president, declined to be considered for the top job. Other First Fidelity executives were considered, the board member said.

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