Could John Kanas' next act be in government?
Kanas, who will step down Jan. 1 as CEO of BankUnited in Miami Lakes, Fla., reportedly discussed a possible role in the incoming Trump administration with members of the president-elect's transition team. Kanas, 70, told The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday that he has held multiple conversations with transition officials but that no specific job was mentioned.
“I've had informal conversations with different members of the transition team about nonspecific ways that I might be helpful to the new administration,” Kanas was quoted as saying.
Some industry officials have recommended him for regulatory posts such as comptroller of the currency, the story said.
A BankUnited spokeswoman said Wednesday that Kanas declined to comment further, and the transition team did not respond to an email.
Kanas joined BankUnited in 2009, recapitalizing the failed institution with the help of Wilbur Ross, whom Trump plans to nominate as secretary of Commerce. Trump's pick for Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, also has links to banking, having served as chairman and CEO of OneWest Bank in Pasadena, Calif., from 2009 to 2015.
Before joining BankUnited, Kanas served as CEO at North Fork Bancorp in Melville, N.Y., for nearly 30 years, from 1977 until its sale to Capital One in 2006.
In an interview with American Banker in September, Kanas ruled out a new banking foray, but he left open the possibility of taking a job elsewhere.
“I may be part of some other project — but it won't be in banking,” Kanas said.
Kanas' announced plans were to continue serving as nonexecutive chairman of the $27.3 billion-asset BankUnited.