E-Trade names director as chairman, interim CEO

AP News
Posted: Dec 21, 2009 9:28 PM

Brokerage firm E-Trade Financial Corp. said Monday it has named director Robert Druskin to take over as chairman and interim CEO when Don Layton retires at the end of the year.

A former chief operating officer at Citigroup Inc., Druskin has served on E-Trade's board since February 2008. He has chaired its finance and risk oversight committee and served on the nominating and governance committee.

E-Trade's board said it has made "meaningful progress" in its search for a new CEO. Layton, who announced his retirement plans in September, will act as a consultant for the company to aid Druskin and the to-be-named CEO with the management transition.

The New York-based company has been restructuring throughout the year to cope with the credit crisis and recession. It was especially hit hard by loan losses in its mortgage and home lending portfolios. However, delinquencies in its key portfolios are showing some signs of improvement.

And while trading volume declined 22 percent in November, customer assets were sharply higher, rising 35 percent year-over-year to $149 billion at the end of last month. Total accounts increased 1.5 percent to 4.5 million.

Also in November, the company withdrew its application to obtain $800 million from the government's $700 billion financial bailout program. It said its recent capital raising and debt exchange programs have provided it with the necessary financial support.

The company has been the target of takeover speculation for months. Some analysts have pointed to competitors such as TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. or Charles Schwab Corp. as possible suitors.