Meet & Greet

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Getting Some Sun Exposure

Al Celini has spent most of his busy career in financial or risk officer roles at some pretty large companies, including Citibank, Ally Bank and Freddie Mac. But he suspects his plate will be just as full as the new chief risk officer at Sun National Bank, the primary subsidiary of the $3.2 billion-asset Sun Bancorp of Vineland, N.J.

"There are so many things being defined all at the same time, whether it be Basel or Dodd-Frank, and we still have to run our businesses," Celini says. "I think the challenges presented to an organization like Sun are no different than at the money centers; the same ambiguities exist."

But the new job does bring some changes for Celini, who lives in suburban Philadelphia and had been commuting to the DC area for his job as a regulatory advisory and strategy VP at Freddie Mac. For starters, he's done with Amtrak. Also, he's glad to be at a place focused on growth. "I'd like to think my career isn't always focused on putting out fires," he says.

 

Houston, we have an expansion effort

Preston Moore is back at a community bank. The well-known Texas banker has joined Community Trust Financial in Ruston, La., which aims to elbow its way into Moore's Houston stomping grounds. The $3 billion-asset Community Trust just got $85 million from three private equity firms to continue fueling its robust organic growth. It recruited Moore to lead its Houston expansion efforts. Moore is the former CEO of Encore Bancshares, which was sold to Cadence Bancorp last year.

 

Sir Scotiabank

On New Year's Eve, Bank of Nova Scotia CEO Rick Waugh learned he would be named to the Order of Canada, the second-highest civilian honor for merit handed out up North. The head of Scotiabank, as Canada's third-largest lender is better known, was honored for "his contributions to strengthening the financial-services industry in Canada and abroad," read the statement from the Governor General of Canada (who is appointed by the British monarchy to carry out ceremonial duties of the throne for the Queen's subjects in Canada).

Waugh's honor seems emblematic of the Canadian banking philosophy, which is to keep a much closer eye on the risk that looser American regulations allowed to run rampant down in the States. As recently as September, at a Toronto business luncheon, Waugh again scolded the industry for damaging its reputation and the customer trust it enjoyed in the pre-crisis era. Waugh has been CEO since 2003, succeeding Peter Godsoe, who received his own Order of Canada honor in 2001.

Waugh was one of 91 new recipients of the Order of Canada, joining the likes of Danièle Sauvageau, the coach of Canada's 2002 Olympic gold medal-winning women's hockey team. Waugh relinquished his title as president of Scotiabank in October to Brian Porter, a possible successor to Waugh when the 64-year-old Winnipeg native retires from the bank he has worked for since 1970.

 

News From the Northwest

Banker Amy Davis was not only named member of the year by the Southwest Washington Contractor's Association, the group renamed the annual honor the Amy Davis Member of the Year award. Davis, business development officer for the $2.4 billion-asset West Coast Bancorp in Lake Oswego, Ore., was the first female president in the 65-year history of the SWCA, an association of commercial construction contractors, engineers, architects and service companies.

... In other news from the region, Mike Paul returned to banking after a stint as VP of financial services for a healthcare company in Portland, Ore. Paul, the founding CEO of Commerce Bank in Oregon and a former Umpqua executive, was lured back into the industry by the $100 million-asset Plaza Bank in Seattle, where he is now president and CEO.

 

Promoted From Within

Sometimes you look all over and find what you need right in front of you.

So it went for WSFS Financial in Wilmington, Del. And happily so. Its $4.3 billion-asset bank unit appointed Mark A. Gordon as the new director of private banking in the wealth management division after a search that involved both internal and external candidates.

He succeeds Helen Zumsteg, who retired after 35 years in banking, the last 11 of which she spent leading the private banking business. Gordon has been with the bank since 2007, working with middle market customers as a vice president in commercial banking. He previously led a private banking team in Greenville, Del., for Mellon Financial and worked as a financial adviser at Merrill Lynch.

"It means a lot to us at WSFS to promote from within and to offer career paths that allow us to grow our own leaders," says Paul D. Geraghty, the chief wealth officer.

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Big Winners and Losers for Banks on Election Night

Republicans won a sizable victory late Tuesday, retaking the Senate after losing it eight years ago. Banks, too, largely benefited, as an ally of the industry captured a Senate seat in West Virginia, two credit union allies fell and a key Democratic senator squeaked past. Here's how election night played out for banks.

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