Daily News: December 4, 2014

Heartland Hires Fifth Third Executive

Heartland Financial announced the company is expanding its executive ranks with the addition of Bruce K. Lee, who will join the company in the newly created position of president. Lynn B. Fuller, Heartland’s president, chairman and CEO, will continue in the positions of chairman and CEO.

Lee joins from Fifth Third Bancorp, and brings more than 30 years of experience in the banking industry. During his 12 years at Fifth Third, Lee held numerous leadership positions with progressive responsibilities. Most recently, he served as EVP and CCO, reporting directly to the CEO. During the recent credit crisis, he served as EVP and director of the company’s special assets group. Additionally, he served as EVP, commercial banking division head and affiliate senior commercial banker. Previously, he served as president and CEO of a Fifth Third affiliate bank in northwestern Ohio where he managed sales and service functions for retail, commercial, residential mortgage and investments, along with the staff functions of finance, human resources and marketing.

Prior to Fifth Third, served as an EVP and board member for Capital Bank, a community bank located in Sylvania, OH.

As President of Heartland, Lee will report to Lynn B. Fuller and will have oversight of a number of customer-facing business units.

“We are delighted to welcome Bruce to our executive team,” stated Fuller. “As Heartland continues its steady growth in assets toward $10 billion and beyond, we recognize the need to add management talent. Bruce brings experience in managing the most important functions of a regional bank holding company, along with community banking experience as part of a management team that started and built Capital Bank into a $1 billion bank in ten years. The addition of Bruce to the Heartland organization is consistent with our current strategy to add talent and experience from larger organizations. For example, Heartland has recently added new executives from regional banking companies with assets exceeding $20 billion. In the second quarter of 2014, we announced the addition of Kelly Johnson from Umpqua Bank to head our Private Client Services area and in 2013, we added Bryan McKeag from Associated Banc-Corp as our Chief Financial Officer.”