Midwest Banc Holdings Inc. in Melrose Park, Ill., is under new leadership.

The $3.6 billion-asset company said late Thursday that it named Jay Fritz as its president and chief executive officer, and as CEO of its Midwest Bank and Trust. He succeeds James Giancola in those roles.

Mr. Fritz was an executive vice president at the parent company and the president and chief operating officer of its bank. Previously he had been the chairman and CEO of Royal American Corp., which Midwest Banc Holdings bought in 2006.

The company made the change abruptly, two days after reporting a $158 million loss for last year. It had been hurt badly by a writedown on its investment in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac stock, but replenished its capital through the Treasury Department's Troubled Asset Relief Program.

It said in a press release that Mr. Fritz's objective would be improving the company's safety and soundness.

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