Magazine article American Banker

CEO: Huntington May Buy Again

Magazine article American Banker

CEO: Huntington May Buy Again

Article excerpt

Byline: Matthew Monks

Stephen Steinour, Huntington Bancshares Inc.'s new chief executive, said Tuesday that the Columbus, Ohio, banking company could be poised for an acquisition spree after getting its financial "house in order."

"I believe the bank's in a very good strategic position to be a consolidator in the Midwest," Mr. Steinour said during a conference presentation Tuesday in New York. "We love the sort of options, not just in Ohio but in [our] six-state footprint. There are thousands of banks to think about ... . In this cycle there will be bank failures in our footprint."

Mr. Steinour, who was named this month as chairman, president, and chief executive of the $54 billion-asset Huntington, said his experience in making acquisitions could come into play as his company hunts for deals in its core markets of Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

Speaking at the Citi 2009 Financial Services Conference, he said that government-assisted deals are an option. He was involved in such transactions during his time at Citizens Financial Group Inc., where he worked for 16 years and resigned as CEO in 2008. He started his career in the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s division of receiverships and resolution from 1980 to 1983. Mr. Steinour said he remains familiar with his "contemporaries" who today hold senior posts at the FDIC.

However, before doing any deals, Mr. Steinour said, his priority is a turnaround for Huntington, which lost $417.3 million, or $1.20 a share, in the fourth quarter, after reporting a loss of $239. …

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