Fifth Third hires CLO as predecessor joins FDIC

May 29, 2018
Susan Zaunbrecher succeeds Jelena McWilliams, who was confirmed as head of the banking regulator

Fifth Third Bancorp last week appointed Susan Zaunbrecher as the bank’s new chief legal officer and corporate secretary, just days after announcing its plans for a merger.

Zaunbrecher joined the bank as senior legal adviser last month to succeed Jelena McWilliams, who was confirmed by the Senate last week as head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Zaunbrecher most recently served as partner and chair of the corporate department at Dinsmore & Shohl. She joined the firm in 1990, and has advised on M&A transactions, compliance matters and securities law. Her clients were primarily financial institutions, and also included public and private manufacturing and service companies.

In her new role she reports to Fifth Third chair, president and CEO Greg Carmichael, and her responsibilities include overseeing the bank’s legal, government affairs and regulatory affairs departments.

‘We are thrilled for Susan to lead our legal team. She brings more than three decades of legal expertise and will be a tremendous addition to the executive leadership team at Fifth Third Bank,’ Carmichael said in a statement. ‘In addition to her extensive background in financial services and regulatory affairs, she understands the power of a positive client experience.’

He added: ‘We’re sad to see Jelena go, but this is a great opportunity to lead an important agency, one that maintains the stability and public confidence in our nation’s financial system. We’re thankful for Jelena’s many contributions to Fifth Third, leading our legal division and providing valuable counsel to me, our executive team and our board.’

Cincinnati, Ohio-based Fifth Third Bancorp and Chicago-based MB Financial on May 21 announced the signing of a merger agreement for a transaction valued at roughly $4.7 billion. Upon closing of the deal, two members of MB Financial’s board of directors are expected to join the Fifth Third Bancorp board, according to an announcement by the firms.

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