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Huntington Hires Fifth Third Exec to Head New Hedging Unit

Huntington Bancshares (HBAN) has added commodities hedging to its capital-markets services, and has hired a specialist from Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB) to lead the new division.

Darrell Fletcher is head of Huntington's commodities-hedging team, the company said Thursday. He joined the Columbus, Ohio, company after thirteen years with Fifth Third's commodities and foreign exchange desk. He has also managed corporate commodity and foreign exchange trading at Alcoa in Pittsburgh.

Huntington is offering its commodities-hedging services to clients throughout its six-state region, and operates a trading desk in Columbus. Its commodities offerings include over-the-counter energy commodities and metals.

Huntington has been expanding its niche services over the last two years. The $56 billion-asset company announced a new energy-lending push in November, and has launched specialty lending initiatives in the international, food and agribusiness sectors. Each move has involved the hiring of experts from rivals. As with Fletcher, Huntington hired Sheila Spradlin Reich, its  managing director of international banking, from Fifth Third.

"Huntington's introduction of commodities hedging is a direct result of listening to our customers who requested a larger array of risk management tools to make their businesses more financially secure," Jim Dunlap, Huntington's regional and commercial banking director, said in a news release. "Customers want the convenience of working with one bank where they can manage the price volatility of raw materials, hedge their foreign exchange and mitigate interest rate exposure."

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