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GE CFO Said to Take Over Finance Arm in Leadership Shift

General Electric Co. Chief Financial Officer Keith Sherin
According to Chief Financial Officer Keith Sherin, General Electric Co.’s finance unit has reduced its commercial paper outstanding to the lowest level in more than two decades, gravitating instead toward bonds and bank deposits. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

General Electric Co. Chief Financial Officer Keith Sherin will take over as head of the company’s finance unit as soon as this summer, according to a person familiar with the situation.

He will succeed Mike Neal, 60, who plans to step down as GE Capital chief executive officer, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the move hasn’t been publicly announced. GE Capital CFO Jeff Bornstein will replace Sherin, 54, at GE, the person said.

The transition will come as GE Capital faces more scrutiny from the Federal Reserve, which identified it as a potential risk to the financial system this week. Sherin also will lead efforts to further shrink the unit as GE CEO Jeff Immelt focuses on boosting profit from industrial products such as jet engines, locomotives and medical scanners.

Seth Martin, a spokesman for Fairfield, Connecticut-based GE, declined to comment on the moves. The Wall Street Journal reported the changes yesterday.

GE Capital had $538 billion in assets as of March 31, larger than all but six U.S. banks, according to data compiled by the Fed. The unit posted profit of $7.4 billion on $46 billion in revenue last year.

Immelt has pledged to reduce ending net investment, a measure of GE Capital’s balance sheet that excludes non-interest-bearing liabilities and cash, by more than 25 percent to as little as $300 billion by the end of next year.

GE may divest some GE Capital businesses through an initial public offering, Immelt said at a conference with analysts and investors last month.

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