Wilbur Ross-Backed Sun Bancorp Hires Thomas O’Brien as CEO

Sun Bancorp Inc., the New Jersey lender backed by billionaire investor Wilbur Ross, hired Thomas M. O’Brien as chief executive officer subject to approval by regulators.

O’Brien is the former CEO of State Bank of Long Island, Vineland-based Sun Bancorp said today in a statement. He’ll serve as a consultant to the bank’s board of directors until the Federal Reserve and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency agree to his hiring, the firm said.

Sun Bancorp ousted former CEO Thomas X. Geisel in December as the lender tries to return to profitability. The bank reported a net loss of $10.1 million last year, and the shares have declined 75 percent since the end of 2007.

O’Brien will help lead “a new era of operational stability, growth and profitability,” Chairman Sidney R. Brown said in the statement.

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