OceanFirst Financial (OCFC) in Toms River, N.J., has hired the former chief executive of Patriot National Bancorp (PNBK) as its president.

Christopher Maher will become president and chief operating officer of OceanFirst and its $2.3 billion-asset bank on March 25, the company said. OceanFirst began a regional search to fill the role last August, after Vito Nardelli stepped down.

Patriot National announced on Tuesday that Maher had resigned as president and chief executive of the Stamford, Conn., company for "personal reasons." The $618 million-asset company hired Kenneth Neilson, a former bank CEO, to succeed Maher.

Earlier, Maher was the chief retail officer at Dime Savings Bank of Williamsburgh in Brooklyn, N.Y.

"As president and COO, [Maher] fills a critical role in our succession planning as an experienced banker who believes in community banking and is committed to our mission of building value for our shareholders," John Garbarino, OceanFirst's chairman and chief executive, said in a press release.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.