EYECATCHERS: Crocker's New Asset

Emmett G. Solomon, the courtly 64-year-old chairman of San Francisco's Crocker Bank, presented his board with a hand-picked successor last August. Not surprisingly, the candidate was Lester Peacock, 43, the bank's president and a fellow traditionalist, who seemed particularly interested in bankerly decorum. Peacock once remarked to his associates: "No gentleman ever wears brown shoes." The bank's board turned Peacock down flat because Crocker's pin-stripe conservatism had simply not been paying off. While more innovative, bolder California banks were gaining ground, the earnings of Crocker, the nation's 14th largest bank, were declining....

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