Finance: Merchandising Money

It was an odd announcement to come at a corporate Christmas party, but Transamerica Corp. likes to do things differently. As the sound of Jingle Bells faded in a banquet room at San Francisco's Mark Hopkins Hotel, Chairman Horace W. Brower rose to address 80 of his top executives. Said Brower, 65, who is recuperating from major heart surgery: "I'm pulling out as chief executive Jan. 1. That will give me more time for fishing, for golf and the recovery of my health." With that, command of one of the nation's largest and least understood financial empires shifted...

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