Positioning the Ryland Group to capitalize on "emerging international housing opportunities," Chairman Roger W. Schipke announced yesterday that the company has appointed the former chairman of MNC Financial Inc. to join its management team and formed a new company to develop overseas markets for Ryland products and expertise.
Alan P. Hoblitzell Jr., former chairman and chief executive of MNC, will join Ryland as an executive vice president and chief financial officer Monday.
Mr. Hoblitzell resigned from MNC, parent of Maryland National Bank and American Security Bank, in late September as losses and bad loans mounted at the state's largest banking company. He has served on Ryland's board of directors since 1972 and will remain a director.
"We are pleased to have Alan join us. He brings strong strategic talent to our team at a time when we are exploring new opportunities for growth. His financial experience positions him to play a major role in developing new sources of capital," said Mr. Schipke, who became chairman and chief executive officer of Ryland Dec. 19.
Mr. Schipke also said that Ryland, one of the nation's largest homebuilders, has formed Ryland Trading Ltd. to develop markets for its building products and technological expertise.
Ryland Trading initially will target countries with housing opportunities in the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Central America.
The company will ship building materials and components manufactured by Ryland Building Systems to meet the expanding demand for housing overseas. It filled its first order in January by sending lumber and other materials for more than 80 homes to a builder in Israel, said Nancy Smith, vice president for public affairs.
The announcement was the first by Mr. Schipke since he became chairman and chief executive officer of the company. The formation of the new company, which is based in Columbia along with the rest of the Ryland Group, is a sign that Mr. Schipke has a strong interest in pursuing the international market, Ms. Smith said.
"We have talked about the international market before, but he is making it part of our strategic plan," she said.
Ryland Trading also will provide technological support in housing design, plant layout and equipment selection but will not construct homes in other countries, she said.
"Ryland Trading Ltd. will capitalize on emerging international housing opportunities," Mr. Schipke said. "The new company complements Ryland's strategic growth and diversification plans."
Thurman W. Bretz has been named president of Ryland Trading Ltd., and Joseph P. Barker has been named vice president.
Mr. Bretz joined Ryland in 1983 as general counsel and chief financial officer. He will continue as senior vice president and general counsel to the Ryland Group. Mr. Barker is former vice president of manufacturing for Ryland Building Systems.
The Ryland Group is a homebuilding and mortgage-related finance company that specializes in the construction and sale of single-family attached and detached homes. Its mortgage-finance arm is one of the nation's largest specializing in mortgage-backed securities.
In 1990, Ryland's revenues were $1.3 billion and net operating earnings of $22 million.