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M e r g e r s, a c q u i s i t i o n s and private and public offerings. Other corporate activity including executive appointments, bankruptcies name changes.

Woman to Be 1st CEO of Top-20 Bank

Recent bank executive activity

Dec. 17, 2010


The first woman to head a top-20 bank will take on her new role in just a few months -- though she wasn't the only woman recently appointed to run a bank. Several other institutions this past month announced a host of changes to their executive lineups.

TD Bank announced the appointment of Robert Hoak to the post of regional president for the bank's South Carolina and Wilmington, N.C., regions. The 32-year banking veteran will oversee commercial and retail banking and coordinate related business lines, including mortgage lending. Prior to relocating to Greenville, S.C., for the new job at the $619 billion (Canadian Dollars) company, Hoak managed the business banking division for Wells Fargo for Pennsylvania and Delaware.

SunTrust Banks Inc. announced its president, William H. Rogers Jr., is now also its chief operating officer. He assumes responsibility for technology arm Enterprise Information Services and oversees many of the company's banking operations, including mortgage and commercial lending. He began his 30-year banking career in the commercial bank training program of Trust Company of Georgia, a SunTrust predecessor.

photo of Robert Hoak
TD Bank photo of Robert Hoak

The $175 billion, Atlanta-based company also recently reported that Steve Shriner will assume the role of chief consumer credit officer on Jan. 1. He will succeed Neil Clerico, who is serving this role on an interim basis and will begin the year as SunTrust consumer banking risk administration executive. Assuming Shriner's previous role as corporate investor relations manager is Kristopher Dickson, who joined SunTrust in 2003.

Shriner has served numerous leadership roles since signing on with SunTrust in 1990 and will be responsible for managing total risk exposure for its consumer business, products and services while implementing effective risk practices and ensuring soundness, diversification and appropriate levels of liquidity, SunTrust reported.

Valeria Lynch Lee was elected to BB&T Corp.'s board of directors, the Winston-Salem, N.C.-based company announced Wednesday. In addition to serving on the board of subsidiary Branch Banking and Trust Co., Lee's tenure includes a stint as the first president of Golden L.E.A.F. Inc. BB&T had more than $157 billion in assets as of Sept. 30.

In Birmingham, Ala., Regions Financial Corp. is undergoing changes in credit risk management upon the announcement that Bill Wells resigned from his position as chief risk officer, Michael Willoughby retired from his role of credit risk director and Tom Neely exited the company and his post as head of problem asset management. While Regions searches for a new chief risk officer, Wells' responsibilities will be divided on an interim basis between Barb Godin, head of operations, and John Haley, head of risk analytics.

With Regions since 1997, Haley assumed responsibility for regulatory affairs and enterprise, market, operational and compliance risks, in addition to directing risk analytics for credit risk in Regions' loan portfolios. Prior to Regions, Haley worked in audit leadership roles at First Union, Florida National Bank and Deloitte-Touche.

Godin, who joined the $133 billion company in 2003, has assumed leadership of problem asset management, credit risk and business services credit, on top of his operations responsibilities that include consumer credit and the collection of charged-off accounts across all loan portfolios. Godin previously served as executive vice president and chief consumer credit officer for KeyBank, Regions said.

photo of Henry Meyer
KeyCorp photo of Henry Meyer

In Cleveland, KeyCorp is undergoing a series of executive changes as a result of chairman and CEO Henry Meyer's plans to retire in May 2011 after a 38-year tenure with the company. Beth Mooney, currently KeyCorp Vice Chair and leader of Key Community Bank, will replace Meyer and, in the interim, will serve as Key President, COO and a board member, the $95 billion company recently announced.

I simply believe it's time for new leadership to take the organization to the next level," Meyer said in the announcement.

In her new role, Mooney will become the first woman CEO of a top-20 U.S. bank. Prior to coming on board with Key in April 2006, Mooney was chief financial officer of AmSouth Bancorporation, now known as Regions Financial. Her experience includes line management positions at Citicorp Real Estate Inc., Hall Financial Group, Republic Bank in Texas and Bank One Corp., where she also served as president of the firm's Ohio operations.

Earlier this month, Key appointed Christopher Gorman as president of Key Corporate Bank and William Koehler as president of Key Community Bank, both major business divisions of Key that respectively include the commercial real estate business and mortgage services of company's 14-state branch network.

photo of Beth Mooney
KeyCorp photo of Beth Mooney

photo of Christopher Gorman
KeyCorp photo of Christopher Gorman

Gorman, a 27-year banking veteran, has served Key for 19 years, including as a member of KeyCorp's Management Committee, leading many Key business groups and as KeyBanc Capital Markets President.

Fourteen of Koehler's 20 years in financial services have been with Key, a tenure in which he has been president of KeyBank's Great Lakes region and led the corporate-wide initiative known as Keyvolution, improving the company's efficiency and effectiveness, among other roles. Koehler will join KeyCorp's Management Committee.

Heidi Steiger joined The Private Client Reserve of U.S. Bank this month as Atlantic region president, a newly created role, according to a press release. Steiger is responsible for the launch of the New York City market, including the development of the Boston, New York, and Washington, D.C. corridor, and growth of Florida markets of the $33.5 billion wealth management arm of U.S. Bancorp. Prior to this role, Steiger served as an advisory director at Berkshire Capital Securities.

In Dallas, PlainsCapital Corp. announced a plethora of executive changes to "advance the company's management team development and executive leadership for the future of the company."

photo of William Koehler
KeyCorp photo of William Koehler

James Huffines was promoted to president and COO of PlainsCapital, assuming the day-to-day responsibilities of overseeing the 36-state, $5 billion company and its subsidiaries PlainsCapital Bank, PrimeLending and FirstSouthwest. A 30-year veteran of the banking and financial services industry, Huffines joined the company in 2001 as chairman of PlainsCapital Bank's Central and South Texas region. Paul Holubec will succeed Huffines as chairman of this region.

John Martin joined PlainsCapital as CFO, bringing experience from his previous roles as CFO of Texas Regional Bancshares Inc. and director of financial planning and analysis at BBVA-Compass Community Bank Group, according to the announcement.

Meanwhile, the banking arm, PlainsCapital Bank, will be led by Jerry Schaffer as CEO, taking this responsibility from the parent company's chairman and CEO Alan White, who will remain as the arm's chairman. Schaffer reportedly joined the bank shortly after its founding in 1988 and served as its president since 2004, chief lending officer and a leader of its responsible lending practices.

photo of Stephen Theobald
Hampton photo of Stephen Theobald

In Richmond, Va., Union First Market Bankshares announced it added L. Bradford Armstrong to its board due to his "frontline expertise in marketing." Armstrong is a partner for The Martin Agency, reportedly the largest advertising agency in the Southeast. His resume' includes president and CEO of the Virginia Performing Arts Foundation and a 1996 recognition as Advertising Person of the Year by the Richmond Advertising Club, the $3.9 billion holding company reported.

Over in Norfolk, Va., Stephen Theobald joined Hampton Roads Bankshares Inc. as executive vice president and CFO, replacing interim CFO Lorelle Fritsch. His 20-plus-year financial services career includes advising Hampton as a consultant for the past eight months and serving as CFO for Capital One Financial Corp., audit partner at KPMG and professional accounting fellow at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

On Wednesday, Shore Banks, a subsidiary of $3 billion Hampton, announced it named W. Thomas Mears president and CEO. He succeeds Steven Belote, who will assume a yet-to-be-determined position with Hampton after he assists with completing the transition. Mears joins Shore from Wilmington Trust, where he was market manager for the lower Delaware and eastern shore of Maryland. His 20-year banking career also includes serving as regional president-market executive for PNC after its acquisition of Mercantile Bancshares Corp.

In Tysons Corner, Va., Cardinal Bank appointed William O'Connor to the role of senior VP, senior credit officer. For the past 28 years, O'Connor has served in senior commercial lending and credit positions in the greater Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. Most recently, he served as chief credit officer and EVP at a community bank based in Northern Virginia and held similar responsibilities at Provident Bank. He has been an active member of the Risk Management Association for 25 years.

photo of William O'Connor
Cardinal photo of William O'Connor

photo of Hillary Blackburn
Cardinal photo of Hillary Blackburn

Another recent addition at the $2 billion bank and parent of George Mason Mortgage LLC and Cardinal First Mortgage LLC is that of Hillary Blackburn. She will serve in the new role of VP for product development and e-commerce, after serving as a director for product management and information technology. Prior to joining Cardinal, Blackburn held management positions in e-commerce, product management and audit with other local financial institutions, including Chevy Chase Bank and Crestar.

The new year will also see leadership changes at Dixon, Calif.-based First Northern Community Bancorp and First Northern Bank due to the retirement of Owen Onsum, current president and CEO, on Dec. 31. Louise Walker will succeed Onsum and become a member of the board of directors while Jeremiah Smith will assume Walker's current roles of executive vice president and CFO.

Walker joined the $0.7 billion holding company in 1979 and has been a member of senior management since 1989. Among her leadership activities is serving as vice chairman of the California Bankers Association's State Government Relations Committee.

Smith, currently SVP-corporate controller, came on board with First Northern in 2003.

A seven-member executive committee was established at Irvine, Calif.-based Opus Bank, a press release Wednesday from the $0.7 billion bank said. The committee consists of Chairman and CEO Stephen H. Gordon, General Counsel Donald E. Royer, Managing Director of Corporate Development Carey M. Brennan, CFO Thea K. Stuedli, Chief Risk Officer Richard A. Sanchez, COO Dean B. Arnold and Chief Credit Officer Sheryl A. Morehead.

photo of Louise Walker
First Northern photo of Louise Walker

photo of Winthrop Watson
FHLB photo of Winthrop Watson

Thomas Criswell took over as president and CEO of American Bank and Trust Company, N.A. Prior to relocating to the Quad Cities metropolitan area of Iowa and Illinois for his new role, Criswell served at Midwestern banks for 28 of his 34 career years. He will also serve on the board of the $0.6 billion, Davenport, Iowa-based company

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh will start 2011 with a new president and CEO: Winthrop Watson, who will succeed John Price upon his retirement on Dec. 31. Watson joined FHLB Pittsburgh last November as COO, assuming responsibility for core business activities, including the mortgage partnership finance program. Before joining the $55 billion wholesale bank, Watson was managing director at J.P. Morgan, serving the company in various capacities for 24 years.

Meanwhile, W. Wesley McMullan has been appointed president and CEO of FHLB Atlanta. He was promoted from the roles of EVP and director of financial management and has been with the government-sponsored enterprise since 1988. McMullan replaces interim president and CEO Jill Spencer, who has been in the temporary position since April.

CUMAnet recently announced Joseph Herbst will lead its national expansion efforts in his newly appointed role as president. Herbst joins the Basking Ridge, N.J.-based, mortgage lending and servicing organization from Warrenville, Ill.-based Members United Corporate Federal Credit Union. He resigned from the corporate when the National Credit Union Association placed it in conservatorship Sept. 24, subsequently renaming it Members United Bridge Corporate Federal Credit Union.

CUMAnet, a credit union services organization, says it has expanded its originally northeast regional presence to Washington, D.C., Chicago and other markets and is depending on Herbst's "comprehensive background and experience in the industry and success with growing organizations from the regional to the national level" to keep growing.

photo of Wesley McMullan
FHLB photo of Wesley McMullan

Herbst believes that CUMAnet is poised to provide back office support and outprice its competitors' products and services. His primary goals will be to increase CUMAnet's national footprint and maximize operational efficiencies for future growth, he said in the announcement.

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Coco Salazar
has been covering the mortgage industry since 2003 for

e-mail: [email protected]

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