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Moffett Said to Step Down at Group Aiming to Buy Failed Banks

David Moffett, head of an investment group that aimed to buy failed banks, is leaving his post and the venture may disband after raising about a third of the $1 billion it targeted, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter.

Moffett was chief executive officer of BSE Management LLC, whose chairman is former bank regulator William Isaac. No decisions on the future of the group have been made, according to the people, who declined to be identified because the discussions are private.

BSE was one of at least a dozen investment groups hoping to buy lenders as banks close at the fastest pace since 1992 and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s list of problem banks climbs toward 800. Many haven’t completed any deals. The largest private-equity purchases included banking operations of IndyMac Bancorp Inc. and BankUnited Financial Corp.

Moffett, the former CEO at Freddie Mac, may stay involved with the group if it continues, the people said. Michael Freitag, a spokesman for BSE, declined to comment.

Isaac, 66, was named today as chairman of Fifth Third Bancorp, Ohio’s largest bank. Isaac, the FDIC chairman from 1981 to 1985, takes over from Kevin T. Kabat, 53, who will continue as CEO, the Cincinnati-based bank said today in a statement.

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