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W Holding Company, Inc. Announces Freddy Maldonado Reassumes the Duties of Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

2008-08-13 15:37:00

    MAYAGUEZ, Puerto Rico, Aug. 13 /EMWNews/ -- W Holding

Company, Inc. (NYSE: WHI) (the "Company"), the bank holding company of

Westernbank Puerto Rico, announced today that Mr. Freddy Maldonado has been

appointed and resumes the duties of Senior Executive Vice President and

Chief Financial Officer (SEVP-CFO) of the Company and its subsidiaries (the

"Holding Company"), replacing Mr. Jose Armando Ramirez, who was retained as

Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer in August 2007. Mr.

Ramirez and the Company mutually and amicably agreed to conclude the

existing contractual relationship in accordance with the provisions of his

employment agreement as of August 8, 2008.

    In connection with the appointment of Mr. Maldonado as CFO, he has

relinquished the duties of President and Chief Investment Officer of the

Holding Company, in order to employ all of his time, effort and energy in

finalizing the matters pertaining to the financial statements of the

Company. Mr. Maldonado will remain as director of the Company, while Mr.

Frank C. Stipes, Esq., Chairman and CEO of the Holding Company, reassumed

the position of President of W Holding Company, Inc., effective

immediately. Mr. Stipes wished the best to Mr. Ramirez and stated that the

return of Mr. Maldonado as CFO was extremely positive, indicating "He (Mr.

Maldonado) is unquestionably one of the most talented, respected, well

reputed and experienced CFO's in Puerto Rico as well as abroad, who was at

the helm of the financials of this fine Company throughout the most

important and significant years of its outstanding history and is here

again to bring the Company back to main street."

    The Company also announced that Ms. Mayra Hansen, former director of

the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation's Puerto Rico Office, had joined

the Company as Senior Vice President and Chief Risk Officer (SVP/CRO). Ms.

Hansen will be involved and supervising the Company's loan review, credit

risk and compliance functions, among other responsibilities. "Ms. Hansen is

one the most highly respected, knowledgeable and experienced professionals

in the field, with approximately 30 years of experience as a former

examiner and regulator, a true honor and privilege to have on board as part

of the senior executive team of the Bank and Company." said Stipes.

    The Company also announced today that the Board of Directors has

unanimously approved a reverse split of the Company's common stock at a

specific ratio to be determined by the Board in its discretion within the

range of not less than 1-for-10 and not more than 1-for-50, and recommended

that the reverse split be presented to the Company's shareholders for

approval. If approved by the Company's shareholders, the Board may choose

to effect the reverse split at any time prior to December 31, 2008. The

purpose of the reverse split is to increase the per share market price of

the Company's common stock, so as to bring the Company into compliance with

the continued listing requirements of the New York Stock Exchange, Inc.

    Forward Looking Statements

    This press release may contain some information that constitutes

"forward-looking statements." Such information can be identified by the use

of forward-looking terminology such as "may," "will," "should," "expect,"

"anticipate," "estimate," "intend," "continue," or "believe," or the

negatives or other variations of these terms or comparable terminology.

Forward-looking statements with respect to future financial conditions,

results of operations and businesses of the Company are always subject to

various risk and market factors out of management's control which could

cause future results to differ materially from current management

expectations or estimates and as such should be understood. Such factors

include particularly, but are not limited to the possibility of prolonged

adverse economic conditions or that an adverse interest rate environment

could develop. For a discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties,

please refer to Item 1A of the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the

most recently completed fiscal year. Except as required by applicable

securities laws, the Company does not intend, and specifically disclaims

any obligation, to update forward-looking statements.

    About the Company

    Westernbank Puerto Rico, a wholly owned subsidiary of W Holding

Company, Inc., is a 50-year-old bank and the second-largest commercial bank

in Puerto Rico, based on total assets, operating through 56 full-fledged

branches (including 20 Expresso of Westernbank branches), including 33 in

the southwestern region of Puerto Rico, 7 in the northeastern region, 14 in

the San Juan Metropolitan area and 2 in the eastern region of Puerto Rico,

and a fully functional banking site on the Internet.

    You may contact Mr. Vixson Baez, with appropriate questions regarding

this press release at (787) 834-8000 ext. 5535, or via email at

[email protected] or [email protected]; or visit

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