Ten CEOs to Watch in 2013

Some are in new roles, some taking their banks in new directions and others most definitely on the hot seat. All eyes will be on these chief executives in the year ahead.

(Image: ThinkStock)

Michael Corbat, Citigroup Michael Corbat, Citigroup

Corbat was named CEO in October following the abrupt resignation of Vikram Pandit. The new boss made his first big move in early December when the bank announced it was eliminating 11,000 jobs and closing 84 offices worldwide. Investors cheered Corbat's focus on cost-cutting in the short term, but many are also anxiously awaiting his plan to grow revenues over the long haul.

Jay Hooley, State Street Jay Hooley, State Street

Though profitable, State Street has been under immense pressure to get its costs under control, and some investors have publicly questioned whether existing management is up to the task. In the fall, investors demanded that either Hooley or CFO Edward Resch resign, and it was Resch who fell on his sword. Hooley maintains that cost-cutting efforts are on track; State Street is in the midst of a massive tech overhaul that's expected to dramatically improve its efficiency, but if things don't work out as planned calls for his resignation are likely to grow louder.

Ellen Alemany, RBS Citizens Financial Group Ellen Alemany, RBS Citizens Financial Group

Alemany is credited with steadying Providence, R.I.-based Citizens following the real estate bust and shielding it from the problems of its British parent, Royal Bank of Scotland. What she has no control over is Europe's debt crisis, and Royal Bank's CEO has said that the $141 billion-asset Citizens — now one of its crown jewels — could be sold to raise capital. Observers have speculated that British regulators could force a sale within the next year or two.

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Masashi Oka, Union Bank of California Masashi Oka, Union Bank of California

Union's Japanese-based parent is out to build one of this country's 10 largest banks in the U.S. It's up to Oka to lead the way at the $87 billion-asset company. It bulked up in its home state this year with its $1.5 billion-acquisition of Pacific Capital Bancorp in Santa Barbara, but its recent acquisition of an Atlanta-based specialty banking firm also signaled a willingness to expand beyond the West Coast.

Kessel Stelling, Synovus Financial Kessel Stelling, Synovus Financial

The Columbus, Ga., company is finally making money again after three straight years of losses and it recently unloaded $500 million of bad assets. Its challenge now is to sustain the momentum in markets still recovering from the real estate bust. Synovus is also the largest company remaining in the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Its top priority in 2013 will be exiting before the interest rate on Tarp funds rises to 9% at year's end.

Dan Rollins, BancorpSouth Dan Rollins, BancorpSouth

When BancorpSouth of Tupelo, Miss., announced early this year that its longtime CEO, Aubrey Patterson, was retiring many analysts thought its days as an independent bank were numbered. That was before the board wooed Rollins away from Houston-based Prosperity Bank, one of the country's most acquisitive banks. Now the buzz around BancorpSouth is that it will be a buyer, not a seller.

Michael Tierney, Flagstar Bancorp Michael Tierney, Flagstar Bancorp

Tierney inherited a company in October from Joseph Campanelli that finally returned to profitability in 2012. Still, he will be challenged to address lingering issues with nonperforming assets, pending litigation and reps and warrants from mortgages the Michigan company made years ago.

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Kevin Cummings, Investors Bancorp Kevin Cummings, Investors Bancorp

Investors, one of the nation's biggest remaining mutual thrifts, is expected to pursue a second-step conversion in 2013. Doing so would provide a large amount of capital for Cummings, who has made consolidation around New York a top company priority.

Tim Laney, National Bank Holdings Tim Laney, National Bank Holdings

After spending 2012 completing a public offering that integrated some of its previous bank deals, the three-year-old NBH is poised for more acquisitions in 2013. Analysts say the $5.4 billion-asset company has the capacity to double its assets in short order and expect it to focus on fill-in deals in its primary markets of Denver and Kansas City, Mo. Laney says it has also added to its lending capabilities, including bulking up in specialty areas like energy and agriculture.

Peyton Patterson, BNC Financial Peyton Patterson, BNC Financial

Patterson famously built NewAlliance Bank into Connecticut's third-largest bank via a series of bold moves before selling it last year to First Niagara Financial Group for $1.5 billion. She's now back as CEO of another small Connecticut thrift with growth ambitions. The question many are asking is whether Patterson's second act will be a lot like her first.

Some are in new roles, some taking their banks in new directions and others most definitely on the hot seat. All eyes will be on these chief executives in the year ahead.

Comments (1)
I hope his plan is to invest in the businesses that he kept and rehire in other positions the employees hat may be let go. I have learned that it is better to re-train instead of hiring new people
Posted by lillian1929 | Wednesday, December 19 2012 at 6:49PM ET
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