2023-01-24 18:35:42

Community bank rethinks C-suite tech roles on cusp of merger

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American Banker
By Miriam Cross

Over the past year, Provident Bank has been rethinking how it defines top tech leadership roles as it prepares to double in size in a pending merger.

The Iselin, New Jersey bank filled three high-level technology positions in the last six months. Although none of these positions are new, some of the roles have been expanded and redefined. For example, Ravi Vakacherla replaced the retired chief information officer of the Iselin, New Jersey, bank at the end of August but his role became chief digital and innovation officer. Damiano Tulipani was appointed chief information security in September. Most recently, Scott Hurlbert joined Provident in January as digital channels director, which encompasses channels that may not traditionally be seen as digital, such as the customer contact center and debit card services.

Redefining certain roles was part of a vision by CEO Anthony Labozzetta to advance innovation at the bank, a unit of the $13.6 billion-asset Provident Financial Services. The new appointments largely predate the bank's announcement that it would acquire Lakeland Bancorp in Oak Ridge, New Jersey which will roughly double the bank's asset size if the merger closes as planned in the second quarter. But they represent a task many community banks have to take on as they grow quickly through acquisition: articulating executive roles for the digital side of the business.

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