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1st Mariner Bank names Kunisch CEO

Steil to remain chairman

Jack E. Steil, left, the chairman and chief executive officer of 1st Mariner Bank, and Robert D. Kunisch, Jr, its president and chief operating officer, sit in the boardroom at the bank's headquarters at Canton Crossing in Canton. (The Daily Record/Maximilian Franz)

Jack E. Steil, left, the chairman of 1st Mariner Bank, and Rob Kunisch, currently the bank’s chief operating officer and now Steil’s successor as CEO, in the boardroom at the bank’s headquarters at Canton Crossing in Canton. (The Daily Record/Maximilian Franz)

1st Mariner Bank, the largest independently owned bank in Baltimore City, today announced that Rob Kunisch will succeed Jack Steil as chief executive officer. Steil will continue to serve as chairman of the board, with a focus on developing the bank’s commercial lenders and cultivating new business opportunities.

As CEO, Kunisch will work to expand 1st Mariner’s role as a leading community bank that supports the financial needs of local families and businesses, the bank said. Gary Rever will assume Kunisch’s former role of chief operating officer in addition to his current responsibilities as chief financial officer.

1st Mariner in June 2014 had been sold to local investors after a bankruptcy sale and recapitalization. Previously, the bank had struggled for years, posting a loss in every quarter of 2013.

“In the three years since 1st Mariner’s recapitalization, we’ve made tremendous strides towards building the local, community bank we envisioned,” said Steil. “As part of our original strategic plan for rebuilding the bank, these changes are a natural transition and mark an important opportunity for all of our executive leaders to concentrate on targeted growth across all lines of business.”

In recent months, 1st Mariner has revamped its branch management structure to place more emphasis on courting new customers, especially small-business clients, and opened its first office outside Maryland, in Newark, Delaware. 1st Mariner also sold its financial services division to Synergy Financial Group to concentrate exclusively on business and personal banking.

Before joining 1st Mariner, Kunisch served as president of Wilmington Trust FSB, Maryland. He spent most his career (1990-2007) with Mercantile-Safe Deposit & Trust Company and its acquirer, PNC. He held various positions throughout the organization including credit administration, loan review, workout, correspondent banking and commercial lending.

A Baltimore native, Kunisch holds a MBA from Loyola University’s Sellinger School of Business and Management and a bachelor’s degree from Providence College.


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