No, really, I'm staying after the merger closes

The standard practice after bank acquisitions is for senior managers at the sellers to receive lump-sum change-in-control payouts — and then move on. Sometimes they retire; often they resurface at other institutions.

There are certainly exceptions where leaders of acquired banks stay and contribute meaningfully to the new employer's success. Those roles can range from a strategic post overseeing certain business lines and markets to actually becoming the buyer's CEO.

Here are examples of bankers who took on key roles at the companies that bought their banks. Some from past years proved to be big difference makers, and the keepers in more recent deals hope to do the same.

Jamie Dimon
Dimon 2017
A famous case in point is Jamie Dimon, who engineered Bank One’s $58 billion sale to JPMorgan Chase in 2004, initially took the No. 2 role as president and chief operating officer of the merged company. He became CEO in December 2005 and chairman a year later, leading JPMorgan through the financial crisis and the massive regulatory change that followed.

JPMorgan is now the largest U.S. bank by assets — and that’s due, in part, to Dimon’s decision at the height of the crisis, in 2008, to acquire Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual, as the once-marquee companies were on the brink of collapsing. A decade later, JPMorgan has embarked on a new period of growth, announcing earlier this year plans for the addition of 400 branches in new markets across the Mid-Atlantic and East Coast.
Archie Brown Jr.
Archie Brown
Described by one analyst as an executive who “punches above his weight,” Archie Brown Jr. became president and CEO of First Financial in Cincinnati after it bought MainSource Financial in April for $1 billion. Brown had the same title at MainSource, guiding the Greensburg, Ind., company through the crisis and more than doubling its assets over the ensuing decade to nearly $5 billion.

At the $14 billion-asset First Financial, Brown succeeded Claude Davis, who remains executive chairman. While Brown focuses on day-to-day operations, Davis will spend more time on strategic planning and future acquisitions.
Cami Gibertini
Group photo (L to R): Dianne Grenz, Cami Gibertini, Susan Ward and Leigh Tucker at a WE event.
Valley National Bancorp did more than strengthen its position in Florida when it bought USAmeriBancorp in Clearwater for more than $800 million.

The Wayne, N.J., company also gained an up-and-coming program designed to encourage more collaboration among female entrepreneurs. The Women Entrepreneurs program was started in 2016 to hold social events where professional women could share ideas and seek mentorship opportunities.

Cami Gibertini, second from the left, helped launch the initiative at USAmeriBancorp. She continues to run the program for Valley, which is keen to expand geographically. There are benefits for Valley: Participants must eventually become clients of the bank, which offers special checking accounts and expedited underwriting and lower fees for some loans.
Russell Goldsmith and Larry Richman
Larry Richman, CEO of PrivateBancorp
Royal Bank of Canada and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce have made major bank acquisitions in the United States in recent years. In both instances, the acquirers found a way to keep the selling bank’s CEO.

RBC bought City National in Los Angeles in 2015 for $5.4 billion — one of the priciest deals announced since the financial crisis. Russell Goldsmith, who was City National’s CEO and whose family owned a large stake in the company, retained that title after the deal closed. He is also responsible for RBC's U.S. wealth management unit.

Larry Richman (pictured) is overseeing what he calls a “strong and steady expansion” for CIBC as its top U.S. executive. He spent a decade as PrivateBancorp’s CEO, taking the Chicago company to nearly $18 billion of assets in 2016, when it sold to CIBC for $5 billion.
Grayson Hall
Regions Chairman and CEO Grayson Hall.
Regions Financial did an unusual thing when it bought AmSouth Bancorp. in a 2006 deal that combined two Birmingham, Ala., companies. Regions effectively relinquished control to AmSouth’s leadership. Dowd Ritter, who had run AmSouth, became Regions’ president and CEO. Many analysts called the deal a reverse merger.

Grayson Hall also came to Regions via AmSouth. He was tapped to run Regions’ business lines when the deal closed; three months later he was running its general bank. And when Ritter retired in 2010, he was succeeded by Hall.

Hall, who retired as the $123 billion-asset company’s CEO in July, is expected to step down as executive chairman at the end of this year. He was succeeded by John Turner, who joined Regions from Hancock Holding in 2011.
Robert Kunisch
Rob Kunisch-First Mariner CEO-2017
Robert Kunisch is a Baltimore guy.

Kunisch’s ties to the Charm City go back to 1990, when he joined the old Mercantile Safe Deposit and Trust. Those roots deepened in 2014 when Kunisch and Jack Stell recapitalized First Mariner, a bank that had lost $120 million from 2006 to 2015.

Kunisch became the $965 million-asset company’s CEO in July 2017. But he barely had time to warm his seat at First Mariner before striking a deal to sell to Howard Bancorp in Ellicott City, Md., in August 2017 for $163 million.

Howard Chairman and CEO Mary Ann Scully made two moves to show her dedication to Baltimore. Howard moved the bank's headquarters to the city, and it named Kunisch to serve as its president. Six months later and Kunisch is still at the company.
David Provost
Chemical Bancorp in Midland, Mich., didn’t have far to look when David Ramaker abruptly retired as CEO in mid-2017.

The $19.8 billion-asset company tapped David Provost to succeed Ramaker. It was an all-too-familiar role for Provost, who held the same post at Talmer Bancorp in Troy, Mich., which sold to Chemical in 2016 for $1.1 billion.

Three months after taking the helm, Provost announced plans to cut about 235 jobs, close several dozen branches and scale back Chemical’s dealings in indirect auto lending. Chemical said at the time that the branch closures would save it about $20 million annually.
Ron Samuels and Rick Callicutt
Pinnacle Financial Group in Nashville, Tenn., has a history of buying banks, then finding key roles for their leaders.

When Pinnacle bought Avenue Financial for $201 million in July 2016, it asked Ron Samuels, Avenue’s co-founder and CEO, to serve as vice chairman. The title is far from ceremonial; Samuels (pictured) also runs the $24 billion-asset company’s music, entertainment and sports banking team, reporting directly to CEO Terry Turner. It is an important job in Nashville, often referred to as Music City USA.

Rick Callicutt also fills a key role at Pinnacle, which bought BNC Bancorp in High Point, N.C., where he had been CEO, for $1.9 billion in 2017. The acquisition gave Pinnacle its first branches outside of Tennessee, and Turner wanted Callicutt to oversee the new operation. In recent months, Pinnacle has expanded aggressively in the Carolinas, hiring a number of commercial lenders across several markets.
Kevin Tylus
Kevin Tylus, former CEO of Royal Bancshares of Pennsylvania, spent five years rebuilding the Narberth company after it lost tens of millions of dollars tied to a disastrous foray into tax-lien investing. The financial crisis and its aftermath didn’t do the company any favors.

Royal returned to profitability in 2013. The turnaround job paid off in December, when Royal sold itself to the $4.3 billion-asset Bryn Mawr Bank for $138.5 million. Bryn Mawr added Tylus to its board and named him president of its banking division.
Mark Bradford
Mark Bradford
Mark Bradford ran Monroe Bancorp for a dozen years, turning it into the biggest bank in Bloomington, Ind., before its 2001 sale to Old National Bancorp.

After the deal closed, Old National tapped Bradford to serve as CEO of its North Central region, which includes Bloomington. His role expanded in 2016, when he added the Indianapolis region to his list of responsibilities.
Brian Moynihan
Brian Moynihan, CEO of Bank of America
While Brian Moynihan has been Bank of America's CEO for nearly 9 years, he wasn’t a product of the Charlotte, N.C., company. The former lawyer moved up the ranks at FleetBoston under Chairman and CEO Chad Gifford. When FleetBoston was sold to Bank of America in 2004, Moynihan became president of global wealth and investment management.

Moynihan’s career took off during the financial crisis. He served as CEO of Merrill Lynch after Bank of America bought the investment bank. And he was named to succeed Ken Lewis as CEO after Lewis abruptly retired in late 2009.

Still, Moynihan weathered the post-crisis storm, addressing legacy issues tied to Merrill and Countrywide. Bank of America is on stronger footing now and has been reconfiguring its branch network and investing in new technology.