- Title: President, Fifth Third Bank, Eastern Michigan
- New Territory: Fehring became president of Fifth Third Bank, Eastern Michigan last month following the completion of Fifth Third's acquisition of Old Kent Bank. Before that, he had been president of Fifth Third Bank-Central Ohio for 11 years. It's a big step upward for Fehring: The Central Ohio region has a population of 1.8 million, far smaller than the Detroit metropolitan area, with a population of five million. That gives Fehring a lot of room to grow his region. The asset-size of the banks in each region is about the same, but in Columbus, Fifth Third is the market leader. "In the Detroit marketplace we would probably rank seventh. I see a solid opportunity to go upward here," says Fehring.
- Challenge: Fehring says his first challenge is "to work with the Old Kent employees and set the vision and direction for the organization." His specialty has been "bringing teams together and focusing on the human capital side of the business," which he says is one of his toughest jobs.
- Merger: There are 800 Old Kent employees in eastern Michigan whom Fehring will oversee, and he initially will try to instill Fifth Third's values in them. Training will continue over the next couple of months "to bring Old Kent employees into the Fifth Third system." Fehring says the Old Kent branches will adopt the Fifth Third name by early August.
- Focus: "We have a chance to broaden the product offering here, particularly on the corporate banking side," says the new president. Some new products will include international banking, electronic processing, equipment leasing and investment servicing.
- Strengths: "One of our strengths is in data processing and e-commerce, through Fifth Third's Midwest Payments Systems (MPS)," says Fehring. Already one of the largest merchant payment processors in the country, MPS will provide a service that wasn't available at Old Kent.
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