March Banking People Moves: Who Stayed, Left and Got Promoted

In the sixth edition of this new monthly feature, we tell you where the notable bankers and c-suite executives moved around in the industry. Here are the moves from March, and keep an eye next month to see who went where in the third month of 2024.

March was another big month in the books for banking executives hopping around the industry. Toward the end, the industry heard about Discover’s latest president and CEO announcement, PNC promoted its head of real estate, the CEO of small credit union announced he would be retiring from his post next year after 40 years at the credit union and Morgan Stanley created a new AI role for Jeff McMillan.

Welcome to the sixth edition of Banking People Moves from The Financial Brand, the monthly record of the c-suite executives, marketing VPs and other professionals moving around the industry that should be on your radar — whether they’re arriving from other industries, moving from one institution to another or getting promoted within their own bank or credit union.

Did you miss the February’s Banking People Moves? Check it out.

March’s Big Announcements

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Michael Rhodes

Institution: Ally Financial (Detroit, Mich.)
New position: CEO
Coming from: Discover Financial Services (Chicago, Ill.)
Old position: President and CEO
To take effect April 29, 2024

What else to know about Rhodes’ new move: Michael Rhodes, who was hired to be the president and CEO of Discover in December 2023, is leaving the credit card company, effective April 1 (replaced temporarily by board member J. Michael Shepherd in his absence). Discover in a statement said Rhodes “was not expected to have a long-term role at the combined company after completion of the company’s merger with Capital One.”

Instead, he will be leaving to take the helm of Ally Financial from Doug Timmerman, who has served as the interim CEO since Jeffrey Brown stepped down officially Jan. 31.

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Sarah Pohmer

Institution: Huntington Bank (Columbus, Ohio)
New position: Chief human resources officer
Coming from: JPMorgan Chase (New York City, N.Y.)
Old position: Head of HR-consumer bank
To take effect in May

What Pohmer said about her move: “As a long-time central Ohio resident, I have long admired Huntington as a brand that stands out for serving our colleagues, customers, and communities.”

What else to know about Pohmer’s new move: Sarah Pohmer is Huntington’s new chief human resources officer following the retirement of Raj Syal, who will leave the company Oct. 1, 2024.

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Jeff McMillan

Institution: Morgan Stanley (New York, N.Y.)
New position: Head of firmwide AI
Promoted from: Chief analytics and data officer

What McMillan said about his promotion:I am pleased to announce my new role as Head of Firmwide AI at Morgan Stanley. I am proud of what we have achieved so far and am excited for what’s ahead. Thanks and admiration to Morgan Stanley leadership for being out in front on this to deliver these differentiated capabilities in a thoughtful and responsible manner.”

What else to know about McMillan’s promotion: Jeff McMillan’s promotion is new for the firm, but he has been working artificial intelligence at Morgan Stanley for years. In his role as chief analytics and data officer where he oversaw the rollout of Morgan Stanley Assistant, a virtual assistant for financial advisers and bankers powered by OpenAI.

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Viswas Raghavan

Institution: Citi (New York City, N.Y.)
New position: Head of banking
Coming from: JPMorgan Chase (New York City, N.Y.)
Old position: Chief of EMEA

What else to know about Raghavan’s new move, from CEO Jane Fraser: “The experience Vis brings in banking and as EMEA CEO makes him the perfect partner to lead the Cluster and Banking Heads across our global network alongside Ernesto Torres Cantú, Head of International. He will also work closely with David Livingstone and our Vice Chairs in the Client organization to ensure we are delivering a consistent and disciplined client strategy.”

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Kara Cardona

Institution: Navy Federal Credit Union (Vienna, Va.)
New position: Chief operating officer
Promoted from: EVP of contact center operations

What Cardona said about her promotion: “When I joined the credit union as a part-time employee at our branch in Naval Station Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, I completely fell in love with the culture and the mission of Navy Federal. I had no idea I would be where I am today, and it is such an honor to give back to our teams and members in this way.”

What else to know about Cardona’s promotion: Navy Federal Credit Union hired Kara Cardona in 1999, and since then, she has worked in a variety of senior and executive vice president roles. She succeeds Dietrich Kuhlmann, who is now the president and CEO of the credit union.

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Sarah Knakmuhs

Institution: M&T Bank (Buffalo, N.Y.)
New position: Chief communications officer
Coming from: H/Advisors Abernathy (New York City, N.Y.)
Old position: Senior counselor

What else to know about Knakmuhs’ new move: Before Sarah Knakmuhs was hired to head up the communications for the $208 billion bank, her role didn’t exist. “In this newly created role, Knakmuhs will continue to evolve and mature M&T’s communication platforms and capabilities to enhance the bank’s profile and strengthen engagement,” said a press release from the bank announcing Knahmuhs hire.

Prior to her five years at H/Advisors, she was the vice president of government affairs and public policy at Altria, the parent company of tobacco company Philip Morris.

Banking Retirements

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Ed Gravley

Institution: Matanuska Valley FCU (Palmer, Alaska)
Retiring as: CEO
To take effect Q1 2024

What else to know about Gravley’s retirement: Ed Gravley, who is retiring from MVFCU a year from now in the first quarter of 2025, started at the credit union in 1985 as a data processing manager. Before he was hired in 2018 to take over the helm of the credit union, Gravley worked as the information systems manager, systems and projects manager, organizational support manager, operations manager and chief operations officer.

The credit union has started its search for its next CEO.

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Kim DeBra

Institution: First Northern Bank (Dixon, Calif.)
Retiring as: Chief communications officer

What else to know about DeBra’s retirement: Kimberly DeBra, after 33 years at First Northern Bank, has retired.

March New Hires

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Jerry Maloney

Institution: Blue Ridge Bank (Richmond, Va.)
New position: Chief compliance officer
Coming from: Midland States Bank (Effingham, Ill.)
Old position: Chief compliance officer

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Jennifer MacMullen

Institution: First Resource Bank (Exton, Penn.)
New position: Chief retail officer
Coming from: Republic Bank (Philadelphia, Penn.)
Old position: Retail market manager

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Raman Bhatia

Institution: Starling Bank (London, U.K.)
New position: Group CEO
Coming from: Ovo (London, U.K.)
Old position: CEO

What else to know about Bhatia’s new move: Raman Bhatia is taking over the role from John Mountain, who assumed the role as interim CEO in 2023 when Anne Boden stepped down in June. Bhatia served as head of digital banking for HSBC’s retail banking and wealth management business in the UK and Europe – a remit that also included responsibility for First Direct and M&S Bank, reports Fintech Futures.

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James McBride

Institution: Connects FCU (Richmond, Va.)
New position: CEO
Coming from: Lion’s Share FCU (Salisbury, N.C.)
Old position: CEO

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Andrew Reynolds

Institution: PenAir Credit Union (Pensacola, Fla.)
New position: Chief strategy officer
Coming from: Blue Eagle Credit Union (Roanoke, Va.)
Old position: Chief growth officer

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Marisa Medgyesi

Institution: Earthmover Credit Union (Oswego, Ill.)
New position: Director of marketing
Coming from:
Old position: Regional manager

What Medgyesi said about the new move: “Returning to Earthmover feels like coming home. It’s where my passion for marketing first ignited, and where I developed invaluable skills and experiences that have shaped my career journey. I couldn’t be more grateful for this incredible opportunity to rejoin the team. They’re a company in motion, “with every move a step forward” that I’m eager to contribute to.”

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Heather Worley

Institution: BOK Financial (Tulsa, Okla.)
New position: Director of investor relations
Coming from: CrossFirst Bank (Leawood, Kansas)
Old position: Managing director of investor relations

What Worley said about the new move: “I’ve followed BOK Financial for over 10 years and had become aware of the quality of the organization adn its leadership. I’m thrilled to join and hope to be bale to contribute to the company’s already strong position in the investment community.”

Banking Promotions in March

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Michael Thomas

Institution: PNC Bank (Pittsburgh, Penn.)
New position: Head of corporate and institutional banking
Promoted from: Head of PNC real estate

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Obinna (Obi) Ndukwe

Institution: Securityplus FCU (Baltimore, Md.)
New position: Chief people and impact officer
Promoted from: Chief experience and impact officer


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Susan Toalson McGinty

Institution: U of I Credit Union (Champaign, Ill.)
New position: Chief growth and advocacy officer
Promoted from: Chief development officer


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Lindsay (Lee) Borgeson

Institution: Core Bank (Omaha, Neb.)
New position: President of BaaS division
Promoted from: SVP of deposit services


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Rory Bidinger

Institution: Stearns Bank (St. Cloud, Minn.)
New position: Community development officer
Old position: Chief marketing officer

michelle louca

Michelle Louca

Institution: UBS (Zürich, Switzerland)
New position: GMW Americas Banking chief of staff
Promoted from: Executive director of digital banking

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Amanda Hicks

Institution: Clearview FCU (Pittsburg, Penn.)
New position: Manager of marketing communications
Promoted from: Manager of content strategy

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