READING, Pa. -- Capping a 32-year career in the finance industry, Paride "Pat" Simione, 61, will retire as president and chief executive officer of Meridian Bancorp's New Jersey subsidiary, the bank said Thursday.

Mr. Simione's retirement is effective Saturday. A replacement has not yet been found.

Mr. Simione "managed the financial turnaround of ailing Cherry Hill National Bank [in 1986], which later became an attractive merger partner for Meridian," said Samuel McCullough, Meridian's chairman and chief executive. Meridian bought the Cherry Hill bank in 1993. Mr. Simione will be the second executive at $14 billion-asset Meridian to retire in less than a month.

The bank's president and chief operating officer, Ezekiel S. "Zeke" Ketchum announced his retirement Dec. 5. Mr. McCullough is continuing a nationwide search for Mr. Ketchum's replacement.

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