Clifton Bancorp in Clifton, N.J., said Friday that it has hired the former chief executive of a nearby rival as chief operating officer.

Michael Lesler joined the $1.2-billion asset Clifton Savings Bank on April 1, the company said. Clifton Savings is the bank subsidiary of Clifton Bancorp.

Lesler, a lifelong Clifton resident, had been CEO of the $803 million-asset Bancorp of New Jersey in Fort Lee since 2013. He left the bank in March to join Interchange Capital in Elmwood Park, N.J.

Lesler replaced Bart D'Ambra as chief operating officer at Clifton Savings. D'Ambra will remain with the bank until his retirement on Dec. 31. D'Ambra has worked at Clifton Savings, also known as CSBK, for 23 years.

Gerald Calabrese, Bancorp of New Jersey's chairman, has been its interim CEO since Lesler left.

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