Bank of America, CIT Group and BBVA: Bankers on the move

As 2018 comes to a close, several banks are experiencing shake-ups in management.

Both Bank of America and CIT Group made several changes, with BoA shuffling executives in its wealth management and consumer banking divisions, while CIT appointed a new chief risk officer and a Santander exec to lead its banking division.

BBVA also announced two key hires. The chief executive of BBVA Compass, Onur Genç, was named head of its global parent in Spain, while former Amazon executive David Hijirida was named chief executive of Simple.

A clutch of banks also witnessed the departure of leadership, including Opus Bank in Irvine, Calif., Berkshire Hills Bancorp in Boston, Live Oak Bancshares in Wilmington, N.C., and QCR Holdings in Moline, Ill.

Following is a guide to the biggest moves:

A Bank of America branch.
BofA picks new leadership in consumer banking, wealth units
Bank of America announced several leadership changes across its consumer banking and wealth management units.

Thong Nguyen, previously co-head of the company’s retail banking business, will serve as vice chairman, where he will oversee corporate strategy and payments. Dean Athanasia, who served alongside Nguyen as co-president, will assume sole leadership of the retail division, which includes consumer and small-business banking.

Katy Knox, president of the company’s trust and private banking divisions, and Andy Sieg, head of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, will join the management team of the Charlotte, N.C., company, reporting directly to CEO Brian Moynihan. Their appointments follow the unexpected death of Terry Laughlin, vice chairman in charge of wealth management, earlier this fall.

Additionally, Anne Finucane, vice chairman in charge of branding and social policy matters, will devote more time to her role as chairman of BofA’s European division, which is based in Dublin. In that role Finucane — one of American Banker’s Most Powerful Women in Banking — will lead the company through the fallout of the United Kingdom's pending exit from the European Union.

Chief Administrative Officer Andrea Smith, another Women in Banking honoree, will take on additional responsibilities, including marketing, communications, consumer data and analytics.
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CIT selects president, chief risk officer
The $40 billion-asset CIT selected leadership for two key roles.

The bank said Robert Rubino will serve in a newly created role as president of its banking division, as well as head of commercial banking. He will start on Feb. 25, and will report to Ellen Alemany, chairwoman and CEO. Rubino will join CIT from Santander Bank, where he had been co-president and head of commercial banking.

Before joining the Boston-based subsidiary of Spain's Banco Santander in June 2017, Rubino worked for 10 years at Citizens Financial Group in Providence, R.I., where he had a number of senior-level roles within the commercial bank. Alemany served as CEO of Citizens from 2007 through 2013, before its spinoff from the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Additionally, Wahida Plummer was named chief risk officer. Plummer joined the company in 2017 as an executive vice president in charge of regulatory matters. Before that, she was head of risk management in the consumer lending group at Wells Fargo.

Plummer succeeds Robert Rowe, who “has elected to leave the company to pursue other career opportunities,” CIT said in a press release.

Additionally, CIT announced that Chief Credit Officer Marisa Harney has taken on an expanded role, and will now oversee all areas of credit risk.
Carlos Torres Vila and Onur Genc
BBVA fills key CEO roles
BBVA promoted the chief executive of BBVA Compass, Onur Genç, to head of its global parent in Spain and named a former Amazon executive to lead Simple, the online-only bank it acquired in 2014.

Genç is set to start his new job Dec. 31. Genç’s successor in the U.S. has not yet been announced. Genç will continue to supervise the U.S. operations until then.

Genç joined Garanti Bank, a BBVA-owned bank in Turkey, in 2012 as executive vice president for retail banking. In 2015 he was named deputy CEO of the Turkish lender assuming wholesale banking responsibilities as well. He made a name for himself by increasing digital innovation and sales. In January 2017, Genç became CEO of BBVA Compass and country manager for BBVA U.S.

Meanwhile, David Hijirida joined Simple as its chief executive, taking over from Dickson Chu, who had been interim CEO since May. Hijirida had worked at Amazon for 11 years in various roles within Amazon Web Services, advertising and payments after stints at Washington Mutual and FleetBoston.

Chu said in a press release that Hijirida’s background played a role in his hiring. “We worked hard to find a leader for Simple with the right and rare combination of financial services knowledge, a track record of delivering great products, and a work ethic that aligns with our values,” Chu said.

The press release went on to say Hijirida “will helm an ambitious agenda of product launches slated for 2019.”
Brenda Kerr
HarborOne taps Santander exec for retail role
Former Santander executive Brenda Kerr was named senior vice president of HarborOne Bank's retail division.

The $3.7 billion-asset institution said Kerr will be responsible for developing a strategic vision, boosting profit and maintaining the Brockton, Mass.-based bank's culture.

Kerr most recently was director of retail sales, operations and support at Century Bank in Medford, Mass. She held several roles at Santander, including branch leadership, district leadership and sales and service strategy. She began her career at Fleet Bank.
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Luther Burbank names new CEO
Simone Lagomarsino was named CEO of Luther Burbank in Santa Rosa, Calif.

Lagomarsino will also succeed John Biggs as president when he retires on Jan. 2. Lagomarsino will join Luther Burbank's board. She was selected as one of American Banker’s Community Bankers of the Year in 2013 while at the helm of Heritage Oaks Bank in Paso Robles, Calif.

Biggs, who was 62 when the company filed its proxy statement in April, will also step down from the board. Biggs, who will have an advisory role through the end of next year, has been the company's president and CEO since 2007.
Mike Walsh
Missouri bank recruits veteran banker to its board
St. Louis Bank in Town and Country, Mo., has recruited a veteran banker to join its board.

The $430 million-asset bank said in a press release Wednesday that Mike Walsh had become a director.

Walsh founded Jefferson County Bancshares in 1993 when he bought Eagle Bank and Trust. Over time, the bank grew to $1 billion in assets with 18 branches in the St. Louis area.
executives handing off the baton; CEO succession planning
Leadership changes hands at Illinois bank
QCR Holdings in Moline, Ill., has named its next leader.

Larry Helling will take the baton from Douglas Hultquist at the $4.8 billion-asset company's annual shareholder meeting scheduled for May 23. Hultquist will retire as president and CEO but continue to serve on the board of Springfield First Community Bank, QCR’s newest subsidiary.

Helling will take over as CEO of the overall company and remain president and CEO at the $1.3 billion-asset Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust, another one of QCR's brands.

Todd Gipple, the chief financial officer and chief operating officer of QCR, will add the president's title. Gipple has been with QCR since 2000.
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High-profile exec leaves Live Oak in North Carolina
Scott Custer resigned from Live Oak Bancshares in Wilmington, N.C., on Nov. 30.

Custer stepped aside as Live Oak’s bank president in October when the company hired Huntley Garriott Jr., a former Goldman Sachs partner, to fill the role. Since then, Custer has held a senior post at the $3.4 billion-asset Live Oak, where he had been focusing on strategic development goals.

Custer, who ran Yadkin Financial before its 2017 sale to F.N.B. Corp. in Pittsburgh, joined Live Oak shortly after that deal closed. His background also includes serving as chairman and chief executive of RBC Bank.

Custer is set to become the chairman of Dogwood State Bank, a proposed de novo in Raleigh, N.C.
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Berkshire Hills CEO abruptly resigns
Michael Daly has resigned as president and CEO of Berkshire Hills Bancorp in Boston.

The $12 billion-asset company said in a press release that Daly had stepped down. Richard Marotta, who had been president of Berkshire's bank, was named to succeed Daly. Sean Gray, the bank's chief operating officer, replaced Marotta as bank president.

Berkshire did not disclose why Daly, 56, resigned. Daly, who had been the company's president and CEO since 2002, is available to assist with the CEO transition, Berkshire said.

Marotta, who joined Berkshire in 2010, had been the bank's president since 2015. He has played a key role in Berkshire’s acquisitions and implemented the strategic plan for the company’s move to Boston, the firm said. Gray joined Berkshire in 2015.

Berkshire disclosed in a regulatory filing that it will pay Daly $7.5 million over the next 18 months as part of a separation agreement. In return, Daly agreed to certain confidentiality and nonsolicitation provisions and a release of claims against the company.
Stephen Gordon
Opus in Calif. parts ways with its founder
Opus Bank in Irvine, Calif., is searching for a new CEO.

The $7.4 billion-asset company said in a press release that Stephen Gordon had resigned from the company and the board, effective immediately.

Paul Greig, Opus' chairman, has succeeded Gordon on in interim basis. Greig, who joined the board last year, was chairman, president and CEO at FirstMerit in Akron, Ohio, when it sold itself to Huntington Bancshares.

Greig, who remains chairman, is a proven leader who is familiar with the bank’s strategy and strengths, said Mark Schaffer, who chairs the board’s nominating and corporate governance committee, in a release.

Opus has retained Korn Ferry, an executive search firm, to help it find a permanent CEO.