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Meet & Greet

Sandy Surfaces

Before he was a financial supermarket magnate, Sandy Weill was an insurance man (and a securities brokerage man before that). The former Travelers exec in January was named chairman of Hamilton Insurance Group, the holding company for Bermuda-based property and casualty reinsurer Hamilton Re. The unit was born out of a reinsurance business sold by disgraced hedge fund honcho Steve Cohen's SAC Capital Advisors.

 

Risking it all

It may have seemed out of step for a bank regulator when Richard Cordray, who was on "Jeopardy" last month as part of a tournament of big winners from the 1980s (he was a five-time champ on the quiz show in 1987), bet all of his night's winnings on the "final jeopardy" question. But the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau chief had nothing to lose. As a federal government employee, he was unable to keep, or even donate, his earnings. (He guessed right, by the way, but still came in second place.)

 

Liking Covington's Connections

Lawyers Rusty Conner and Michael Reed, who have worked together for nearly 15 years and have handled more than 500 deals involving banks and other financial institutions, finished their tenures at DLA Piper on a Friday and started in the D.C. office of Covington & Burling the following Monday. "We love working with our clients," Reed says. "Why take a vacation?"

Another motivating factor: their new proximity to Covington partner Edward Yingling, former president and CEO of the American Bankers Association, and former Comptroller of the Currency John Dugan, who chairs Covington's financial institutions practice.

"Their experience and their knowledge and of course their contacts in the banking world are just amazing," Reed says of his Covington colleagues. "They'll provide a tremendous amount to our clients."

 

Full Circle

Jill Castilla left Citizens Bank of Edmond once before, but she doesn't intend to do so again. Having started her career in 1998 at the Oklahoma bank, which has been in her family for four generations, Castilla moved on to posts at the Kansas City Fed and then to a Minnesota community bank before returning to Citizens in 2009. With the Jan. 31 news that she would take over as Citizens' president and CEO, following stints as chief operating officer, chief financial officer and chief credit officer, Castilla confirms she's officially back for good. "I ... plan to spend the rest of my career serving this bank," says the 41-year-old Castilla. She replaces C.H. Wyatt, who had led Citizens since 2009.

 

THE SBA GIVETH AND THE SBA TAKETH AWAY

Recent changes at the top of the Small Business Administration have given back the private banking sector one of its own, and put another banker in charge of the agency.

Jeanne Hulit, who became the SBA's acting administrator in September after the departure of Obama appointee Karen Mills, has joined Northeast Bancorp in Maine as president of its Northeast community banking division. (Hulit had worked in banking for 18 years, in commercial lending roles at Citizens Bank and Key Bank, before joining the SBA in 2009.)

Meanwhile, Maria Contreras-Sweet, founder and chairman of ProAmérica Bank in Los Angeles (and a former secretary of the California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency), is Obama's pick to take over the SBA. ProAmérica is a $153 million-asset bank that caters to Latino entrepreneurs.

And Mills, who came from a private equity background, not banking, is now a senior fellow at Harvard Business School and the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at the Harvard Kennedy School, focusing on U.S. competitiveness, entrepreneurship and innovation.

 

Different Titles, Same Markets

From coast to coast, some former community bank CEOs are turning up in new roles where they are putting their longstanding local connections to work.

Paul Sabado, who has spent his entire career in Washington's Puget Sound market, has joined Kitsap Bank in Port Orchard, outside Seattle, as senior vice president and SBA manager. He previously was the top executive at Seattle-based Pacific International Bank, which was acquired by BBCN last February.

Eric Wiggins, who was replaced in October as CEO of Greater Hudson Bank in Middletown, N.Y., has been made chief credit officer at The Westchester Bank in Yonkers, N.Y. Prior to his five years at Greater Hudson, Wiggins worked his way up from assistant treasurer to senior commercial loan officer at Union State Bank in Orangeburg, N.Y., and was a senior relationship manager at Key Bank in Tarrytown, N.Y. Even his MBA is locally sourced: he got his degree at Pace University—at the White Plains, N.Y., campus.

 

Let's Stay Together

It turns out Rockville Bank's recent hiring of digital banking exec Donna Patel was part of a package deal. In February, two months her hiring was announced, the Connecticut community bank named a new chief technology officer, Sam Patel. A spokesman for the 22-branch bank confirms the two are married.

Donna Patel, who managed online banking products at Wachovia and Wells Fargo before directing digital product strategy at BofA, relocated from North Carolina to Glastonbury, Conn., to serve as Rockville's first ever senior vice president of virtual banking, overseeing all non-branch channels.

Sam Patel, who helped in the technology integration of Wells and Wachovia before serving as chief information officer at a startup bank in South Carolina, will head the combined information technology team of Rockville and United Bank of West Springfield, Mass., which Rockville is in the process of acquiring.

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