Bankwell Financial Group in New Canaan, Conn., has hired a new chief strategy officer.

The $900 million-asset company said in a press release Tuesday that Christopher Gruseke is also being considered for its vacant chief executive post. Gruseke will oversee implementation of the bank's strategic plan and report directly to Blake Drexler, Bankwell's executive chairman.

Gruseke "brings extensive knowledge, experience and focus that align with the vision we have as shareholders and directors of the company," Drexler said in the release.

Gruseke was a founding investor and director of Bankwell predecessor Bank of New Canaan. Bankwell, which went public last year, merged the bank with several other units.

Bankwell has been looking for a new CEO since personal financial issues led to the departure of Peyton Patterson. She left two months after it become known that she had been ordered by a judge to pay more than $350,000 in credit card debt.

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