Lakeland Bancorp (LBAI) in Oak Ridge, N.J., has tapped a new leader for its bank just two days after announcement plans to buy Somerset Hills Bancorp (SOMH).

The $2.9 billion-asset company said Thursday that its board had promoted Robert Vandenbergh to become the president and chief operating officer of Lakeland Bank. Vandenbergh, who remains the company's chief operating officer, joined Lakeland in 1998 when it bought National Bank of Sussex County.

Lakeland is just days removed from announcing plans to buy Somerset Hills, a $369 million-asset company in Bernardsville, N.J., for $64.4 million. The company said in that announcement that Stewart McClure Jr., Somerset Hills' president and CEO, will serve as Lakeland Bank's co-president when the acquisition is completed.

Vandenbergh's "extensive banking background and … his leadership in the integration of other banks throughout his tenure with Lakeland Bank bring great strength to this position," Thomas Shara, Lakeland Bancorp's president and chief executive, said in Thursday's press release.

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