Just days after abruptly resigning from Citigroup Inc.'s board of directors, Jerry A. Grundhofer has emerged as the likely candidate to succeed Gabriel Jaramillo as chairman as of Sovereign Bank.

Sovereign's parent, Spanish banking giant Banco Santander, announced Monday that it has named Grundhofer non-executive chairman of Santander USA Holdings Inc. and nominated him for the same post at the $76 billion-asset Sovereign. Sovereign's board will vote on Grundhofer's nomination on July 1.

Grundhofer joined Citigroup's board 2009 and was chairman of Citibank N.A. when he announced his resignation Thursday. Previously he had been chairman of U.S Bancorp from 2002 to 2007 and was chief executive officer at U.S. Bancorp from 2001 to 2006.

If elected as Sovereign's chairman, he would replace Jaramillo, who became chairman in December after stepping down as CEO to join the United Nations Office of the Special Envoy for Health.

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