Dwight Utz is back in the job market just five months after his company was sold.

Utz is leaving VantageSouth Bancshares (VSB) in Raleigh, N.C., where he is president of the company and chairman of its bank. He had been the chairman and chief executive of ECB Bancorp in Englehard, N.C., prior to its April sale to VantageSouth.

"My work at VantageSouth has really been completed," Utz says, referring to a "near flawless" integration and appreciation in the company's stock price in recent months.

"I do want to stay in banking," says Utz, who is in his late 50s. He is interested in banks with $1 billion to $5 billion in assets in Virginia, Maryland or Pennsylvania, which are closer to his hometown of Pittsburgh. His preference is to serve as a CEO, though he'd be willing to join a larger bank as chief operating officer.

"Some of the banks that I'm talking to are struggling with regulatory issues," Utz says. "I believe I still have the energy to take that on."

Utz joined ECB in 2009 after serving as chief retail officer at MidSouth Bancorp (MSL) in Lafayette, La. He has a noncompete with VantageSouth that prevents him from joining a bank in North Carolina between Charlotte and the coast.

"I knew he always wanted to move back toward Pittsburgh," says Rusty Cloutier, MidSouth's CEO. "He wants to stay engaged and, with the shortage of talent right now, we need to keep everyone we've got. Hey, he's younger than me, and I've still got plenty of fire."

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