The move of Edward O. “Ned” Handy III from his position as Citizens Bank president for Rhode Island and Connecticut to The Washington Trust Co. as president and chief operating officer suggests more than the transition of a well-respected banking executive from one financial institution to another.
Handy’s move invites a look at the banking landscape in which the move takes place and the vastly different profiles of the banks.
Westerly-based Washington Trust has grown carefully and steadily under the leadership of Chairman, President and CEO Joseph J. MarcAurele into its solid position as the largest Rhode Island-based community bank. In hiring Handy it sets up a potential line of leadership succession, offering further stability in an ever-changing banking environment.
Providence-based Citizens Bank has the international advantage of being European-owned, but that ownership brings with it local uncertainty over the future of parent company Royal Bank of Scotland, which had an infusion of $71 billion from the British government in 2008 that gave it an 82 percent share of ownership in RBS. Other factors of change at work in the umbrella Citizens Financial Group include the announced retirement of Chairman and CEO Ellen Alemany, who was due to turn over the leadership to Bruce Van Saun Oct. 1, and RBS’ announced IPO planned for 2015.
The 52-year-old Handy, a resident of East Greenwich, will see the local banking landscape from a different perspective when he assumes his position at Washington Trust at the end of November. Handy will not be available for comment until then, according to the bank, which announced his appointment Sept. 20.
MarcAurele will turn over the job of president to Handy, but retain the position of chairman and CEO.
Handy’s annual salary will be $385,000 and beginning in 2014, he will be eligible for incentive compensation with a target bonus of up to 40 percent of his salary, according to documents filed Sept. 25 with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Handy will receive a hiring bonus of $100,000 in January 2014. He will also be granted 3,500 restricted stock units of Washington Trust Bancorp, Inc. that will become vested after five years of employment.
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