NewBridge Bancorp (NBBC) in Greensboro, N.C., has hired six commercial bankers to run its new middle-market banking group.

The $2.4 billion-asset company said in a press release Friday that its new division will focus on companies in North Carolina and South Carolina with annual revenue from $25 million to $250 million.

"We are excited to enter an attractive middle-market banking segment" by hiring lenders, Pressley Ridgill, NewBridge’s president and chief executive, said in the release. "With consolidation in the banking industry and the evolving strategies of the larger national banks, we feel the middle-market sector represents an underserved market segment."

The new hires at NewBridge follow restructuring-related job cuts earlier this year.

The team will work out of two offices. Michael McMahan, who was named director of middle-market banking group and treasury services, will lead the team from the Charlotte, N.C., office. His previous experience includes more than 20 years with Bank of America (BAC), and most recently, as an executive for a regional bank.

Thomas DeMint, 3rd, based in Greenville, S. C., was named head of the middle-market banking group in South Carolina and head of syndicated finance. His previous experience includes executive roles at Bank of America and Wachovia Bank.

Robert Beggs, Walter Bridgeman, Joseph Watkins Jr. and Mark Schuch will join McMahan at the Charlotte office.

Beggs, who has held various posts at Wells Fargo (WFC), will serve as senior relationship manager. Bridgeman, who was named head of treasury services, worked for nearly two decades with Bank of America and RBC Bank. Watkins, named director of product management for treasury services, and Schuch, who will serve as product manager for treasury services, have experience at Bank of America BB&T (BBT).

NewBridge said it plans to expand its existing middle-market banking team around Raleigh, N.C., where the company recently completed its $64 million acquisition of CapStone Bank. NewBridge,which has 40 branches, has said it could target other markets in the Carolinas and Virginia.

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