First Marblehead Corp. has made a series of management structure  changes that it announced yesterday.

The student loan firm announced that Kenneth Klipper will become the Chief Financial Officer effective immediately, succeeding John Hupalo, who has decided to leave the company to pursue other opportunities.

Before his appointment as CFO, Klipper served as senior vice president, Treasurer and chief accounting officer of First Marblehead. Prior to his stint at First Marblehead, Klipper was the CEO of BrownCo., an online brokerage firm at the time owned by JPMorgan.

The company also announced that the capital markets group will now be led by Gary Santo and Stein Skaane. Santo is rejoining the company, effective Sept. 29 , after serving as a managing director in the structured finance group at Fitch Ratings since July 2007. He previously spent eleven years in the capital markets group at First Marblehead.

In a related development, Fitch has asked Managing Director Mike Dean to assume Santo's consumer ABS responsibilities while it considers longer-term options. Dean is currently responsible for the ABCP group and previously was responsible for consumer ABS.

Skaane, who currently serves as executive vice president of product strategy, has been with First Marblehead since 2001 and before that worked at State Street Corp. in the firm's structured finance group. The reconstituted capital markets group will also include personnel currently responsible for quantitative analysis, risk analysis, and product strategy.

The company also announced that Michael Plunkett, senior vice president of loan operations, will head the company's newly combined loan origination and information technology department. Plunkett, who has been with First Marblehead since 2003, joined the student loan firm after serving as a captain in the U.S. Navy for over 24 years.

"Mike Plunkett can help the company focus on minimizing costs and maximizing efficiencies across our loan origination and technology platforms," Chief Executive Officer Daniel Meyers said. "As we realign the organization to help ensure future success, we thank the departing Executive Vice Presidents, Anne Bowen, Dick Ross, John Hupalo and Greg Johnson for their service to the company and wish them the best in their future endeavors."

Additionally, the marketing and business development departments will report directly to Meyers.

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