Sun Bancorp (SNBC) in Vineland, N.J., has selected its next chief executive.

The $3.1 billion-asset company said Wednesday that it had hired Thomas O'Brien as its president and CEO, pending approval from the Federal Reserve Board and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. He will serve as a consultant until Sun gets its regulators' blessing.

O'Brien was the president and CEO of State Bancorp from November 2006 to January 2012. He has been on the board of BankUnited (BKU) in Miami Lakes, Fla., since May 2012 and was a key lieutenant for BankUnited's CEO, John Kanas, while serving as vice chairman at North Fork Bancorp from 1996 to 2000.

"We expect [O'Brien] will be an effective catalyst to help complete the implementation of our ongoing regulatory compliance program, improve our regulatory standing and advance our growth as one of the largest commercial banking organizations in New Jersey," Sidney Brown, Sun's chairman and interim president and CEO, said in the release. "We believe [his] leadership will help us turn the corner, move forward, and begin to lay the foundation for a new era of operational stability, growth and profitability for our shareholders."

"I will not only be joining Sun as its CEO but, more importantly, I will be joining as a significant shareholder," O'Brien said, though the release did not disclose how much stock he has or plans to hold. "As a consequence, my interests will be closely aligned with the long term interests of all shareholders and my ambition will be to build the value for them that they so richly deserve."

Sun lost $10.2 million last year, including $8.4 million in the fourth quarter, after losing $50 million in 2012. The company, which is among the bank investments of Wilbur Ross, ousted former CEO Thomas Geisel in December.

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