Thomas X. Geisel faced his share of challenges early this year when he took over as president and chief executive of Sun National Bank in Vineland, N.J.

An overarching one was to improve the bank's efficiency ratio, reducing the cost of generating each dollar of revenue. But amid the challenges, Mr. Geisel said he also saw a clear opportunity: providing financial planning and wealth management to the bank's commercial and high-net-worth customers.

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