Tuesday, Aug 30, 2016
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Fifth Third area chief departs

Szuch is to join Signature -- and former co-workers

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At Signature, John S. Szuch will serve as a representative within the Toledo area and help with business development.

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John S. Szuch, chairman of Fifth Third Bank (Northwestern Ohio) and the co-founder of the former Capital Bank N.A., an institution that focused on the Toledo area's business and professional clientele, is returning to his roots. Sort of.

On Monday, Mr. Szuch resigned as the top man at Cincinnati-based Fifth Third's regional division to become an executive officer at Toledo-based Signature Bank N.A. At Signature, Mr. Szuch will be reunited with several of the executives he worked with at Capital Bank before it was acquired by Fifth Third Bancorp in 2001.

In his new position Mr. Szuch will serve as a representative of Signature within the Toledo-area community and help with business development. The position was created specifically for Mr. Szuch, who also will join Signature Bank's board of directors.

Rick Brunner, Signature's chairman and chief executive officer, said the job switch for Mr. Szuch was a result of "ongoing conversations that led to him expressing an interest in us."

But hiring the bank executive wasn't a difficult decision, Mr. Brunner added.

"Most of us on our management team worked at Capital Bank, so we've known John for 20-plus years," Mr. Brunner said. "He likes what we're about, being a locally owned bank, making local decisions. He's looking to help us grow."

Mr. Brunner was one of six former executives at Sylvania-based Capital Bank who declined positions with Fifth Third to found Signature Bank 10 years ago.

Signature was formed to continue the concept of Capital Bank -- a bank focused on the area's business and professional clientele.

For Mr. Szuch, who was not available for comment, the change will mean leaving a large, diversified financial institution with $117 billion in assets and 1,300 locations in 12 states for a Toledo institution with $552 million in assets and one location, at 4607 W. Sylvania Ave.

Mr. Szuch had been chairman of Fifth Third's northwest Ohio operations since it acquired Capital Bank, where he also was chairman.

He also has been on the board of directors of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority since 2008.

Fifth Third said it would not comment on a successor for Mr. Szuch, but spokesman Carla Firestone Nowak said it was grateful for his service the last 11 years.

"We certainly have appreciated John's contribution to the bank over the years, and we do wish him well in his new position," she said.

-- Jon Chavez

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