Peace and Understanding
Thomas Johnson, retired chairman and CEO of GreenPoint Financial, was recently awarded the Stephen P. Duggan Award for Mutual Understanding from the Institute of International Education, the group that administers the Fulbright Program for the U.S. State Department.
That a New York banker-philanthropist would be honored thusly may not be surprising. What's intriguing is that Johnson, who suffered some of the worst kind of pain stemming from geopolitics, remains so committed to fostering peaceful foreign relations. Johnson's son Scott was killed in the World Trade Center on 9/11. That fall, in a U.S. News & World Report article written by a close friend of his son's, Johnson's anguish was palpable: "I'm angry looking forward to the times that this family will have together," he said, explaining that "everything is going to get compromised by this." A decade later, Johnson says he remains deeply angry at losing his son and at "what those people did to America. But I don't think I ever generalized from that into being congenitally angry against any particular group of people other than the ones who did this." Johnson's family decided to devote the Scott M. Johnson Memorial Fund at Trinity College to the IIE's Scholar Rescue program, which helps find academic safe havens for threatened scholars from around the world. The Johnsons' support has helped Trinity host three rescued scholars to date, from Iran, Uzbekistan and Zimbabwe. "I really believe passionately that if more people can be exposed to living in another culture when they're young adults, it's likely that the world would be a more peaceful place," the 71-year-old Johnson says. "You don't tend to make war on the people who are your personal friends."
From BofA To PNC
The Wall Street Journal last year called him Bank of America's "new secret weapon." But now Michael Lyons is a hired gun for PNC, which has brought him on as head of corporate and institutional banking.
Lyons, based in Pittsburgh and reporting to PNC Senior Vice Chairman Bill Demchak, was in the financial institutions group at Morgan Stanley and with hedge fund Maverick Capital before joining BofA as a corporate strategist. He advised CEO Brian Moynihan-the two had worked together at Fleet in the 1990s-on the repositioning of the BofA balance sheet around a stable of core assets.
Frank Selvaggi, the senior partner in an accounting firm, left the board of Signature Bank this fall due to "time constraints in his schedule." Odd, then, that Signature should choose Ivanka Trump as his replacement. The daughter of The Donald already helps direct her family's real estate and hotel ventures. She also has her own jewelry line and an array of fashion licensing deals, and this spring she's launching a clothing collection. But Trump sounds sure she can help Signature, a $13.1 billion-asset institution with 25 offices in the New York area targeting private businesses and their owners. "I know firsthand how important it is to rely on the relationships we forge with banking professionals and greatly appreciate highly personalized attention," she said.
Still in the City
David Bagatelle has spent his entire career in the New York market. He got his start with M&T Bank, oversaw 82 locations and 1,000 employees in the New York metro area for Republic National Bank, and was a founder of a pair of banks based in the Big Apple.
Now he'll lead the New York City expansion of Provident Bank, which has set its sights south of its Hudson Valley headquarters in Montebello, N.Y., for its first growth initiative since 2007.
By the time his hiring was announced by Provident CEO Jack Kopnisky on Oct. 31, Bagatelle already had begun recruiting for the company's New York City commercial teams. The groups will target middle-market businesses, and will aim to strike up personal banking relationships with the owners and employees of commercial clients.
Bagatelle grew Herald National to $500 million in assets. But in August 2010 he resigned from the bank, which agreed in June of this year to a sale to Florida-based BankUnited.
The rap on women in this industry is that not many of them run business lines. Well, you can't say that about Mary Tuuk anymore. Tuuk, Fifth Third Bancorp's chief risk officer since 2007, has moved out of the risk and compliance functions where she has built her career and is getting some P&L experience as the market president for Fifth Third, Western Michigan. That's the region that Kevin Kabat led before he became CEO of Fifth Third Bancorp.
In other Fifth Third-related news, Terry Zink, most recently the head of the company's Chicago affiliate, is heading to Bend, Ore., to become CEO of Cascade Bancorp and its Bank of the Cascades subsidiary. His hiring will be effective Jan. 1, pending regulatory approval.
This won't be Zink's first stint out west. Before joining Fifth Third, he spent 17 years with Wells Fargo in senior management positions in California and Arizona.
Bank of the Cascades has total assets of $1.56 billion and 32 branches in Oregon and Idaho. At Fifth Third, Zink oversaw $12 billion in assets and 190 Fifth Third locations in the greater Chicago area.