David Harnisch will join CIT Group as president of Commercial Finance, succeeding Jim Hudak who has elected to retire following a 20-year career at CIT.

Harnisch will be responsible for CIT’s corporate and leveraged financing to middle market companies, including CIT’s key industry verticals of Healthcare, Power & Energy, Technology, Media & Telecommunications, Aerospace & Defense, Government Contracting, Gaming, and Retail. He will also be responsible for asset-backed and asset-based lending, factoring and real estate financing. He will join the company’s executive management committee.

“I want to thank Jim for his leadership throughout CIT’s transformation and his work in repositioning our business toward more collateral-based lending, as well as building out our industry vertical expertise. Jim has been a great partner to me and our team,” said CIT Chairwoman and Chief Executive Officer Ellen R. Alemany. “I also want to welcome Dave back to CIT. He is an experienced commercial finance executive who will help us build on our momentum and unlock the full potential in our business.”

Harnisch returns to CIT, where he previously spent nine years in Sponsor Finance, Asset Management and Problem Loan Management. Most recently, Harnisch was executive vice president and head of Commercial Banking at Santander Bank. Prior to joining Santander, he was executive vice president and head of Commercial Banking Underwriting & Portfolio Management at Citizens Financial Group. He also held positions as the head of Leveraged Finance and head of Underwriting and Execution for Healthcare and Technology Banking at RBS Citizens. Harnisch’s commercial banking and asset management career spans 27 years and began at Chase Manhattan Bank.