Fifth Third Bancorp on Wednesday said it hired Ross J. Kari, a former Safeco Corp. executive, as its chief financial officer, ending a five-month search.

Mr. Kari, who had been Safeco's CFO in Seattle from 2006 until September, starts at Fifth Third in Cincinnati on Nov. 17.

"I am confident that Fifth Third is well-positioned to differentiate itself and emerge successfully from these challenging times in the financial services industry," Mr. Kari said in a press release, "and I am happy to be part of the leadership team that will make that happen."

Mr. Kari serves as a nonexecutive director of KKR Financial Holdings LLC and is chair of that company's audit committee.

Christopher G. Marshall resigned as Fifth Third's CFO in May. Daniel T. Poston, Fifth Third's controller, has filled the CFO role on an interim basis.

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