CIT hires Santander exec to lead banking division

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CIT Group in New York has a new president.

CIT on Tuesday named Robert Rubino to 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.

"CIT has made tremendous progress in transforming the company, refocusing on our core strengths and delivering for our customers," Alemany said in a press release. "Bob's experience will further complement these efforts as we advance our strategic plan and build on our leading market positions."

The move comes as the $50 billion-asset CIT continues its transformation from a struggling commercial financing company into a more traditional middle-market lender.

During Alemany's nearly three years at the helm, she has overseen the sale of noncore businesses, such as a $10 billion-asset aircraft leasing division, and increased the company's focus on commercial and retail deposit-taking.

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C-suite Commercial banking Ellen Alemany CIT Group