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October Brings New CEOs at US Banks

First Financial, Ally Financial, Macatawa Bank and Mercantile Bank all announced senior leadership changes this month

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  • Written by  Banking Exchange staff
October Brings New CEOs at US Banks

First Financial — The Indiana-based bank has announced that Norman D Lowery, the bank’s senior vice president and chief operating officer, is to succeed his father Norman L Lowery as president and CEO with effect from January 1, 2024.

Norman L Lowery, who is currently chairman, president and CEO, will continue to serve as executive chairman of First Financial’s board until December 31, 2024, when he will become non-executive chairman.

Lowery senior said his son had “driven continued improvement in our operational execution as we have grown in size and expanded the footprint of our business” in his role as COO, which he has held since 2010.

Norman L Lowery joined First Financial’s board in 1989 and has been chairman, president and CEO of the bank since 1996.

Ally Financial — The North Carolina-headquartered financial services giant has begun searching for a new CEO after current chief executive Jeffrey Brown said he would step down from his role by January 31, 2024, at the latest.

Brown has been at Ally for 14 years, including nine as CEO. Upon his departure he will become president of Hendrick Automotive Group, an Ally customer.

Franklin Hobbs, chair of Ally’s Board, said Brown had been “an exceptional leader” and was “held in the highest regard throughout the organization and the banking industry”.

An executive search firm has been appointed to identify Brown’s successor.

Macatawa Bank — President and CEO Ronald Haan is to retire from the Michigan-based bank on November 1. He has led the bank since 2009 and will see out the rest of his term on the company’s board, ending in May next year.

John Swets, currently chief financial officer, will succeed Haan as president and CEO upon his retirement. Swets has been CFO at Macatawa Bank since 2002. Meanwhile, Bryan Barker will take on the CFO role.

Mercantile Bank — Also retiring from a leadership role is Robert Kaminski Jr, who will step down as of June 1, 2024. Kaminski is currently president and CEO of the bank, a position he has held since 2017, having first joined Mercantile in 1997.

Raymond Reitsma, currently Mercantile’s chief operating officer since January 2022, will succeed Kaminski upon his retirement. He first joined the company in 2003 as a commercial loan manager.

Michael Price, chair of Mercantile’s board of directors, said Reitsma “has been an integral part of Mercantile Bank’s success over his 20 years on the team”. “Succession planning has been a top priority at our company and we are very confident that Ray has the requisite skill set to continue on our legacy of success,” Price added.

Primis Financial — The Virginia-based group has appointed Rick Fulk as the new president of its banking subsidiary, Primis Bank, effective from October 2.

Fulk joined Primis in 1998 and has held various positions, most recently the regional executive for the Richmond and Hampton Roads areas.

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