NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Nov 30, 2012) - Stephen Steinour, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Huntington Bancshares Inc., has been selected by the editors of American Banker as the 2012 Banker of the Year (http://www.americanbanker.com/best-in-banking/). Community Banker of the Year honors were bestowed on three executives: John Corbett, president and CEO of CenterState Bank; Ron Paul, chairman, CEO and founder of Eagle Bancorp; and Cathleen Nash, president and CEO of Citizens Republic Bancorp.
American Banker also recognized retiring Representative Barney Frank with a Lifetime Achievement award and named Jack Dorsey, founder of Square, the financial services Innovator of the Year.
American Banker has been recognizing industry leaders with its Banker of the Year and Best in Banking programs since 1991. While the six individuals selected this year stood out for different reasons, each transformed the industry, a line of business, or the company he or she leads during a period in which the financial services business itself is undergoing dramatic transformation.
"This year's honorees show once again that even in hard times the most forward-thinking bankers can provide abundant value to their customers, shareholders and communities," said Neil Weinberg, American Banker's editor in chief. "Our selection of non-bankers for our Lifetime and Innovator awards further reflects the critical role that public policy and technology play in shaping banking's future."
Banker of the Year
Steinour heads Huntington Bank, a $56 billion regional bank holding company headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. After losing $3 billion in 2009, Huntington returned to profitability in the first quarter of 2010 and has made money every quarter since, including a record $168 million in this year's third quarter. Steinour, who joined the bank at the start of 2009, is widely credited with being the driving force behind the resurgence. A former regional CEO at the Royal Bank of Scotland's Citizens Financial Group, Steinour came in with and executed on an agenda of transforming Huntington into a premier retail bank serving the Midwest.
Innovator of the Year
This year's Innovator of the Year, Jack Dorsey, is the CEO and founder of mobile payments startup Square, a company that has been able to successfully -- and disruptively -- innovate in the increasingly fractured payments industry. With Square, Dorsey (best known for co-founding and creating Twitter) has upended the business of providing payments services to the country's smallest companies. In addition, an August deal with Starbucks for the first time extended Square's digital wallet service into a national retail chain, one whose customers already regularly use mobile phones instead of credit cards to make payments.
Community Bankers of the Year
American Banker recognized three executives with Community Banker of the Year accolades.
- CenterState Bank CEO John Corbett was honored for a shrewd move into correspondent banking, along with his role in overseeing eight acquisitions in two years that have positioned CenterState as one of Florida's breakout banks.
- Bethesda, Md.-based Eagle Bank, which Ron Paul founded in 1998, has reported increased profits for 15 straight quarters, thanks in part to his relentless pursuit of lasting and profitable customer relationships.
- Citizens Republic CEO Cathleen Nash was selected for taking over the Flint, Mich., company when it was on the ropes in 2009 and returning it to solid profitability two years later. In September, she capped the turnaround with a deal to sell the company to FirstMerit Corp. in an all-stock deal worth nearly $1 billion.
Lifetime Achievement Award
This year's Lifetime Achievement recipient, Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, was honored for his role in crafting groundbreaking legislation throughout his three decades in Congress that, while not always embraced by the industry, will leave an unmistakable mark on the financial services industry long after he retires at the end of his current term.
As chairman of the House Financial Services Committee between 2007 and 2011, the sharp-witted and tenacious Frank played a key role in the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, better known as Dodd-Frank, and in helping pass the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which many experts credit with saving the financial system. What might surprise some outside the Beltway is the high regard even many leading Republicans and some executives have for Frank, whether for his command of complex issues or his willingness over the years to reach across the aisle and forge bipartisan agreements on financial legislation.
About the Awards
Banker of the Year Awards honorees have been selected by the editors of American Banker in an independent and journalistic process since 1991. A special report, "Best in Banking 2012," showcasing the year's most important stories and trends, has been published in the December issue of American Banker Magazine and online at http://www.americanbanker.com/best-in-banking/.
About American Banker
American Banker (AmericanBanker.com) is the banking industry's most powerful resource for news, analysis, opinion and perspective about financial institutions, regulation, risk management, bank technology and market trends.
SourceMedia, an Investcorp company, is a diversified business-to-business media company serving the financial industry and the related fields of professional services and technology. SourceMedia offers its clients and subscribers professional publications and online information services, industry-standard data applications, and in-depth seminars and conferences.