NCenNew Century Financial Corporation, a real estate investment trust (REIT) and one of the nation's largest subprime mortgage companies, announced today that Robert K. Cole will retire as Chairman of the Board and that Fredric J. Forster, Lead Independent Director, has been appointed to serve as Non-Executive Chairman of the Board effective January 1, 2007. Mr. Cole's employment term as Executive Chairman of the Board will expire on December 31, 2006; however, he will continue to serve as a member of the company's Board of Directors. "Building New Century with my two partners and co-founders, Brad Morrice and Ed Gotschall, has been one of the most gratifying experiences of my professional life," said Mr. Cole. "Now that there has been a smooth transition of the chief executive officer role to Brad, I plan to retire from my position as Chairman of the Board at the end of this year. I look forward to continuing to support Brad and his management team as they lead the company to new heights." Mr. Forster, 62, has been a member of the company's Board of Directors since July 1997 and has served as the Lead Independent Director since September 2005. Mr. Forster has extensive mortgage industry experience, spending nine years at ITT Financial Corporation, including as President and Chief Executive Officer of ITT Federal Bank. He later served as President and Chief Operating Officer of H.F. Ahmanson and Company and its subsidiary, Home Savings of America. In addition, Mr. Forster spent nearly a decade as a director of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco. He received his Masters Degree in Business Administration from Harvard Business School in Cambridge, Mass., and his Bachelor's degree in Physics from Princeton University in Princeton, NJ.