Cathleen H. Nash will have her work cut out for her when she takes over as chief executive at Citizens Republic Bancorp Inc. in Flint, Mich., next month.

The $13 billion-asset company is coming off what was easily its worst quarterly loss ever and, with credit weakness beginning to advance beyond residential real estate and into the commercial and industrial and commercial real estate portfolios, it is facing what one analyst called "a multiyear struggle" to return to profitability.

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