Lewis Ranieri, co-inventor of the mortgage-backed security, has stepped down as interim chief executive of the struggling Franklin Bank Corp. of Texas, but he will remain as chairman as the depository searches for new capital.

Replacing Mr. Ranieri as CEO is Alan Master, a director in the company who was named its president in May. Stung by bad real estate loans, the Houston-based Franklin has seen its share price fall to 59 cents, compared with a 52-week high of $9.82. Franklin has yet to file second-quarter earnings and is in danger of being delisted by the NASDAQ Stock Market.

It is also being sued by shareholders who accuse management of engaging in what the plaintiffs call "accounting improprieties."

Franklin Bank can be found on the Web at http://www.bankfranklin.com.

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