Huntington Hires Agribusiness Banker from Bank of Oklahoma

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Huntington Bancshares (HBAN) has hired a veteran executive from Bank of Oklahoma to lead a new agribusiness initiative.

The Columbus, Ohio, company said Tuesday it has named Peter Arendt managing director, food and agribusiness banking.

Arendt is expected to lead an expansion of the $56 billion-asset bank's lending and risk management services for customers who are engaged in the production, processing and distribution of food and agricultural products.

He previously held a series of top posts in banking on behalf of clients in the food, commodities and agribusiness industries at BOK Financial (BOKF), Bank of Oklahoma's parent, and Wells Fargo (WFC).

"Peter is intimately familiar with mitigating commodity risk, challenges surrounding food safety and the need for increased capital in today's environment," Richard Remiker, senior managing director specialty banking at Huntington, said in a news release.

According to Huntington, the food and agribusiness industries account for roughly 20% of jobs nationally, many of which tend to be located in the Midwest region where Huntington operates.

Huntington's move mirrors efforts underway at some other lenders. Wells Fargo recently lured a veteran lender from Rabobank Chile to lead its agribusiness group in Oregon as part of an expansion of its agribusiness group there and in Washington.

It is also consistent with Huntington's efforts to beef up its management as it looks to broaden its lending capabilities. In recent weeks, Huntington has snagged an energy banker from Bank of America (BAC), hired an international banker from Fifth Third Bank (FITB), and brought in a new president for its western Pennsylvania and Ohio Valley region from RBS Citizens.

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