Harold Pote, 60; led financial realty firm

Posted: June 28, 2007

Harold W. "Hal" Pote, 60, president and chief executive officer of American Financial Realty Trust, died while vacationing this week with his wife in Turkey, the company announced yesterday.

In a brief news release issued last night, Lewis S. Ranieri, chairman of American Financial's board of trustees, expressed "profound sadness" and said: "Our whole AFR family mourns this tragic loss."

Mr. Pote, who lived in Center City, had served as the company's president and CEO since August after its founder, Nicholas S. Schorsch, had been ousted by the board over concerns that he was more concerned about growth than profit.

Mr. Pote had been chief executive of the old First Fidelity Bancorp. of Philadelphia before his ouster in late 1988. After that, he worked for JPMorgan Chase & Co. in New York before returning to the Philadelphia area to join American Financial, a company that buys bank buildings and leases them to financial institutions.

Among those stunned to hear of Mr. Pote's death was Manny Stamatakis, who got to know Mr. Pote over the last 10 years while both served on the boards of Drexel University and the Drexel College of Medicine.

"I just saw him a week or so ago," Stamatakis said last night. "He looked wonderful. I'm going to miss him a lot."


Contact staff writer Diane Mastrull at 610-313-8095 or dmastrull@phillynews.com.

Inquirer staff writer Henry J. Holcomb contributed to this article.

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