John Kanas to retire from banking — again

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BankUnited Chairman John Kanas will close the curtains on a storied banking career at the end of this year.

Kanas, 71, announced plans late Tuesday to retire as chairman of the Miami Lakes, Fla., company on Dec. 31. Rajinder Singh, who had already succeeded Kanas as BankUnited's president and CEO, will take over leadership of the $31.3 billion-asset company's board.

"It has been an incredible journey over the past nine years," Kanas said in a press release. "BankUnited has been one of the greatest turnaround stories coming out of the financial crisis. I am proud of what has been built and excited for its long-term future."

Before rescuing BankUnited, Kanas was chairman and CEO of North Fork Bancorp in Melville, N.Y., for three decades. Under his leadership, North Fork went from a small bank on Long Island to a $60 billion-asset regional powerhouse. It was sold in 2006 to Capital One for nearly $15 billion.

Kanas was honored with American Banker's lifetime achievement award in 2017.

After leaving Capital One, Kanas was coaxed back into banking by the group that recapitalized BankUnited.

The Carlyle Group in June tapped Kanas to serve as vice chairman of its Carlyle Global Financial Service Partners. He joins a group of more than 40 senior executives who advise Carlyle on investment decisions. Kanas will also work with Carlyle’s limited partners and support its portfolio companies.

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