Citizens Financial Group in Providence, R.I., has hired Russell Herakovich to lead the national expansion of its commercial health care banking group. 

Herakovich was appointed managing director of the group — which lends to corporate companies with annual revenues of at least $25 million — on Thursday. Herakovich, who has 20 years of banking experience including 16 within the health care industry, will be based in Atlanta.   

The $127 billion-asset company's commercial banking group just expanded its operations by adding about 70 commercial bankers in Atlanta, Charlotte, N.C., Dallas, Los Angeles and Washington. This division, which focuses its growth efforts on the health care, technology and franchising sectors, had operated primarily in the New England, Mid-Atlantic and Midwestern markets.

Before joining Citizens, Herakovich spent the last 12 years at GE Capital's Healthcare Financial Services business as a managing director and head of the corporate finance team in the Southeast and central U.S. He also previously worked at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey and First Union.

"Health care represents approximately 18% of the U.S. GDP and is clearly a growth sector," Herakovich said in a press release. Citizens "wants to aggressively grow its health care lending business, and I am thrilled to join such a strong team that is focused on helping our clients achieve their goals."

Royal Bank of Scotland, the parent company of Citizens, is in the process of spinning off Citizens through a series of offerings through 2016. RBS in May filed for an initial public offering of Citizens shares.

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