Leissring to lead Huntington Bancshares in Wisconsin

Bank company in process of acquiring FirstMerit

Huntington Bancshares Inc. has named a new regional president to support its commercial business in Wisconsin following its pending acquisition of FirstMerit Bank.

Kevin Leissring will serve in Huntington’s Wisconsin regional president role. He will report to Rick Remiker, senior executive vice president, director of commercial banking.

Leissring currently is president and chief executive officer of FirstMerit Wisconsin. He previously was executive vice president and market manager of commercial lending for Town Bank, and has also worked in leadership roles at Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, American National Bank & Trust Co. and Bank One.

In January, Columbus, Ohio-based Huntington announced it will buy Akron, Ohio-based FirstMerit for $3.4 billion. FirstMerit, which has 48 branches and 231 employees in Wisconsin, entered the state in 2013 when it acquired Flint, Michigan-based Citizens Republic Bancorp Inc.

This is Huntington’s first entry into the Wisconsin market. It has $73 billion in assets and 750 branches in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Indiana, West Virginia and Kentucky. FirstMerit has $25.5 billion in assets and a total of 366 branches in Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois and Pennsylvania.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter. Brent Wilder, corporate public relations director for Huntington, said all of the Wisconsin FirstMerit branch employees will be retained, though some branches will be closed.

“We haven’t completed making all the corporate decisions across the enterprise,” the spokesperson said. “We don’t anticipate any significant employee impact in Wisconsin because we’re not located in the state right now.”

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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