Eric S. Smith, Chicago regional president of Fifth Third Bank, will transition to chief operating officer of the region once the bank’s pending merger with MB Financial closes. He will report directly to current MB Financial President and CEO Mitch Feiger, who will become CEO of Fifth Third Bank in Chicago after the closing.

The merger is expected to close in the first quarter of 2019, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

“Eric has led our Chicago region through a period of growth and transition. His work in Chicago over the past two years has helped position the bank for the opportunity we are pursuing with MB,” said Greg D. Carmichael, chairman, president and CEO of Fifth Third Bancorp. “Since the planned merger was announced in May, Eric and his leadership team have taken on significant additional responsibilities to enable a smooth integration, while continuing their steady focus on taking care of our customers and our communities. I am looking forward to his continued success in his new role.”

“I am excited about serving as COO of an organization that will be double the size of our current Chicago operation,” said Smith. “I am eager to collaborate with Mitch Feiger to deliver the power of our combined teams for the benefit of our customers and communities.”

Smith’s new role will include developing and implementing strategies to accelerate Fifth Third’s success, continuing to serve as a civic leader on the Bank’s behalf and facilitating One Bank relationships across all lines of business. Once the merger is closed, he will assist with onboarding the leadership team members joining Fifth Third from MB. He will continue as regional president until the merger closes.

Smith joined Fifth Third in 2016 from JPMorgan Chase, where he most recently served as chief financial officer of middle market banking. Prior to assuming that role in 2011, he was a managing director in the investment bank, where he served as head of the North American Food and Beverage Group. He also was responsible for advising Fortune 500 consumer product companies on merger and acquisition transactions as well as debt and equity underwritings.