Magazine article American Banker

National City CFO Retiring as a New Regime Forms

Magazine article American Banker

National City CFO Retiring as a New Regime Forms

Article excerpt

Byline: KEVIN DOBBS

National City Corp. said Wednesday that its longtime chief financial officer will retire this fall.

Jeffrey D. Kelly, 54, joined the Cleveland banking company in 1979, became CFO in 2000, a vice chairman in 2004, and a member of the company's board in 2007. He stepped down from the board Wednesday and will retire Sept. 30.

The move came two weeks after the $150 billion-asset Nat City hired Richard L. Michel, a former Citigroup Inc. executive, as its vice chairman of regional and national commercial banking.

The company had been operating without a vice chairman in charge of commercial banking - a role Peter E. Raskind created shortly after he became chief executive officer last summer.

Through a spokeswoman, Mr. Kelly and Mr. Raskind declined interview requests. But in a press release, Nat City said lines of business that previously reported to Mr. Kelly - including capital markets and structured products businesses - had been realigned under the new commercial banking leadership.

Analysts said the reasons behind Mr. Kelly's departure are likely twofold: He probably took the fall for Nat City's dismal performance the past two quarters, and Mr. Raskind may be trying to mold his own executive team.

"It's probably a matter of it being time to bring in a new regime and break with the past," Richard X. Bove, an analyst at Ladenburg Thalman & Co. Inc., said in an interview Wednesday. "Certainly Jeff Kelly didn't do anything to protect Nat City from the degradation it has fallen into, and often when a CFO retires young it's because things haven't gone well. But in this case, I think it's as much about Raskind needing to put his stamp on the company."

Mr. Raskind had said that he wanted to fill the new vice chair of commercial banking position last year - among other vacant positions, including the head of marketing - but that plans was put on hold as Nat City was pummeled by mortgage losses, particularly in the slumping Florida housing market. …

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