Sun Bancorp in N.J. Snags CFO from Customers Bank in Pa.

Sun Bancorp (SNBC) in Vineland, N.J., has lured a veteran financial executive from Customers Bancorp (CUUU) in Wyomissing, Pa.

The $3.1 billion-asset holding company said Friday that Thomas R. Brugger has joined its Sun National Bank subsidiary as chief financial officer.

Brugger spent roughly three years at Customers, where he was the chief financial officer of the parent company and the banking unit. He previously served as corporate treasurer, chief investment officer and portfolio manager at Sovereign Bank over the course of 14 years with Sovereign.

He succeeds Robert Crowl, who left Sun in April to join PHH (PHH) in Mount Laurel, N.J.

"We were fortunate after doing a national search that we found somebody in our backyard," Thomas X. Geisel, Sun's chief executive, told American Banker.

The appointment continues an infusion of talent by Sun over the past year. In April, it opened a new commercial loan office in Plymouth Meeting, Pa., and hired veteran commercial lender James Higgins from Susquehanna Bancshares (SUSQ) to run it.

The bank also doubled the size of its New Jersey residential lending team in April by hiring 50 former lenders from MetLife's (MET) former mortgage-origination unit.

In December, Sun hired two seasoned executives, including a former managing director at Susquehanna, to help grow its middle-market and commercial real estate loan portfolios.

"What we're trying to do is to create the best of all worlds -- to have a big bank experience and structure overlaid on a community banking delivery model," Geisel said "The track record of people we've hired are people we think can help us accomplish that. We have found it to be a competitive advantage so far."

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