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2012 Bankers to Watch

Ron Hermance, Chairman, CEO, Hudson City Bancorp Ron Hermance, Chairman, CEO, Hudson City Bancorp

Once a favorite of investors, the $51 billion-asset thrift company had a rough 2011 as problem loans spiked and persistently low interest rates battered its investment portfolio. With Hudson City’s shares down more than 50% from their 52-week high, Hermance's challenge in 2012 will be to regain investors' confidence. (Image: Bloomberg News)

In Mortgages, Hudson City Competes With, Constrained by Washington

Richard Fairbank, Chairman, CEO, Capital One Financial Corp. Richard Fairbank, Chairman, CEO, Capital One Financial Corp.

Capital One struck two big deals in 2011 – and both came under attack from community activists who argued that they will create another too-big-to-fail bank with a mixed CRA record. Most observers expect the acquisitions of ING Direct and the credit card portfolio of HSBC Bank to win regulators’ approval, but the test for Fairbank will be winning the public’s approval.

Fear of Giant Banks Charges Marathon Hearing on Cap One-ING Deal

OCC Prolongs Comment Period in Cap One Deal for HSBC Unit

Stephen Gordon, Chairman, CEO, Opus Bank Stephen Gordon, Chairman, CEO, Opus Bank

A longtime California banker, Gordon raised $460 million to recapitalize the ailing Bay Cities National Bank in 2010, and hasn't slowed down since. He renamed the bank Opus, struck two sizeable deals – including one for Cascade Bank near Seattle – began opening de novo branches and raised another $100 million to use for future acquisitions. Will the $2 billion-asset Opus be the West Coast's next breakout bank?

Opus to Purchase Fullerton, Calif., Bank for $50 Million

Beth Mooney, Chairman, CEO, KeyCorp Beth Mooney, Chairman, CEO, KeyCorp

Mooney made history in 2011 by becoming the first female CEO of a top 20 U.S.-based bank. Ultimately, though, she will be judged not by her gender, but by her ability to deliver results – and she’s off to a strong start. In Mooney’s first two quarters as CEO, Key’s earnings were up 120% over the same periods in 2010.

How KeyCorp's Next CEO Can Make It a Contender

25 Women to Watch: 1-5

Joseph Depaolo, President, CEO, Signature Bank Joseph Depaolo, President, CEO, Signature Bank

Signature has been a standout in recent years, thanks largely to Depaolo’s strategy of stealing teams of commercial lenders from rival banks. But residential mortgage-backed securities account for more than 40% of the New York bank’s assets and some have speculated that its string of record-setting quarters could come to a halt as yields on the securities plummet. Depaolo’s test in 2012: growing the loan book enough to offset diminishing yields on securities.

Signature's Earnings Surge on Loan, Deposit Gain

Daryl Byrd, President, CEO, Iberiabank Corp. Daryl Byrd, President, CEO, Iberiabank Corp.

Since August 2009, Iberiabank, of Lafayette, La., has acquired five failed banks and two healthy banks, more than doubling its assets to nearly $12 billion and expanding its reach into new markets in Florida, Tennessee and Alabama. But don’t expect Iberiabank to take much of a breather. Byrd estimates that as many as 200 banks in the Southeast could fail over the next few years and Iberiabank intends to be an active bidder for banks in markets it views as attractive. The goal: to build a regional franchise that stretches from Virginia to Texas.

Iberiabank Eyes More Deals, Aims for Double-Digit EPS Growth

Gerald Hassell, Chairman, CEO, Bank of New York Mellon Corp. Gerald Hassell, Chairman, CEO, Bank of New York Mellon Corp.

Hassell became CEO of the world’s largest custody bank after Robert Kelly unexpectedly resigned in August, and quickly announced a series of moves that would trim overhead by up to $700 million over the next four years. But investors griped that the cuts weren’t aggressive enough and further punished a stock that has lost roughly one-third of its value since January. Still, expenses can only be cut so much and Hassell’s big challenge in 2012 will be growing revenues in a low-interest climate. Also likely to keep him up nights are lawsuits that accuse the venerable bank of defrauding state pension funds on foreign currency exchange trades. (Image: Bloomberg News)

BNY Mellon: New York AG is 'Flat Out Wrong'

Philip Flynn, CEO, Associated Banc-Corp Philip Flynn, CEO, Associated Banc-Corp

Flynn’s biggest accomplishments in his second full year as CEO were returning the Green, Bay, Wis., company to profitability and raising roughly $200 million it needed to exit TARP. Flynn says capitalizing on the disruption of rival M&I Bank's merger with BMO Harris Bank will be a top priority in 2012. Also on his to-do list: figuring out how to recover an estimated $18 million a year in lost revenue as a result of new caps on interchange fees.

Swipe-Fee Caps Could Trim Associated's Revenues by $19 Million a Year, CEO Says

John Kanas, Chairman, CEO BankUnited John Kanas, Chairman, CEO BankUnited

Kanas' noncompete agreement with Capital One Bank expires in August, freeing the longtime New Yorker to expand the Miami bank's reach into more familiar territory. Flush with capital from its recent public offering, BankUnited has already struck one deal in New York, for Herald National Bank, and that’s likely just the start. Kanas wants to open as many as 20 branches in the New York area over the next few years. (Image: Bloomberg News)

You Can Go Home Again

Kanas Will Be on Sideline as BankUnited Enters New York

Cathleen Nash, President, CEO, Citizens Republic Bancorp Cathleen Nash, President, CEO, Citizens Republic Bancorp

After 12 consecutive money-losing quarters, Citizens Republic in Flint, Mich., surprised market watchers when it reported healthy profits in the second and third quarters. Nash deserves much of the credit for the turnaround, but she faces a big test in keeping the momentum going in the economically challenged upper Midwest.

Citizens Republic Swings to Profit; Stock Surges

The past year was a mixed bag for banks. Some found success in picking up market share, or in finally putting federal bailouts into rear view. Others encountered fresh challenges, from run-ins with regulators to the realities of a still-fragile economic recovery. Here are 10 bank CEOs worth watching in 2012.

Podcast
In this episode of Breaking Banks: American Banker's Innovator of the Year, John Hope Bryant of Operation Hope; Richard Brown and Charley Cooper of the blockchain consortium R3; and Ravi Srinivasan, who describes India's drastic move to stamp out cash.