CenterState Banks (CSFL) in Winter Haven, Fla., has hired a chief strategy officer from a California lender.

Chris Nichols will direct the $2.4 billion-asset company's long-term strategy, focusing on risk management, marketing, technology and analytics, CenterState said Wednesday. He was president and chief executive of PCBB Capital Markets, the broker-dealer subsidiary of Pacific Coast Bankers' Bancshares in Walnut Creek, Calif.

The chief strategy officer position is new, a bank spokesman said.

"As CenterState continues to focus on risk management and helping its retail, business and correspondent bank customers grow profitability, [Nichols] will play a key role," John Corbett, CenterState's president and CEO, said in the news release.

Corbett was one of three community bankers of the year named by American Banker in 2012.

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