Carolina Trust Bank in Lincolnton, N.C., is looking for a new chief executive.

J. Michael Cline will retire from his position as president and CEO role at the end of 2013, the $265 million-asset company announced Monday. The company has hired Sockwell Partners in Charlotte, N.C., to lead the search for his successor.

Cline, 62, has been president and CEO of Carolina Trust since its founding in 2000. He began his banking career in 1974, with Northwestern Bank, and worked for Raleigh, N.C.-based First Citizens Bancshares (FCNCA) before joining Carolina Trust.

Cline's "long and productive career reflects well on him and the entire banking community. He has been a true friend of North Carolina bankers throughout the state and Carolina Trust Bank has been lucky to have such a fine leader," said Thad Woodard, president of the North Carolina Bankers Association, in a news release.

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