First Republic CEO to stay on for another 3 years

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James Herbert will remain at the helm of First Republic Bank for three more years.

The San Francisco company announced Wednesday that it has extended its contract with its longtime chief executive. Herbert, 72, will remain chairman and CEO through Dec. 31, 2020. After that, he will serve as executive chairman through 2025.

Additionally, the $76.5 billion-asset First Republic named Hafize Gaye Erkan as president. In her new role, Erkan will focus on strategic initiatives, such as improving the company’s approach to technology. She will also retain her current duties as head of the company’s deposit franchise and investment portfolio.

Erkan joined the company three years ago from Goldman Sachs. The position of president had been vacant since Katherine August-deWilde stepped down in 2015. August-deWilde was named vice chairman of the board of directors early last year.

“Along with our very strong executive team, Gaye is focused on supporting and further developing First Republic’s client-centric business model and culture,” Herbert said in a press release.

For Herbert, American Banker’s Banker of the Year in 2014, this is the third contract extension in five years. He was scheduled to retire at the end of 2017, under a contract announced two years ago. Under an earlier agreement, in 2012, he was set to relinquish the CEO role in mid-2016.

Herbert founded the bank in 1985 and sold the firm in 2007 to Merrill Lynch. He continued to run the company under the First Republic brand until he reacquired it in 2010 with the backing of two private-equity groups.

First Republic provided no additional information about why it decided to extend Herbert’s contract, or about its future succession plans.

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