Updated March 28 at 4:32am

Alemany set to retire from Citizens after 5 years at helm


PROVIDENCE - Chairman and CEO of RBS Citizens Financial Group Inc. Ellen Alemany will retire Oct. 1 after more than five years with the Providence-based group, according to a press release from the parent company, Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC.

“Ellen has provided important and valuable leadership to Citizens,” said RBS CEO Stephen Hester. “She steered Citizens through the most turbulent 2008-2009 period and has driven its focused recovery plan since then.

“Ellen has been a valued colleague to me and the Group Executive Committee of RBS,” said Hester. “We want to thank her for all she has done and look forward to working with her on a smooth transition.”

Alemany was named one of 10 CEOs to watch in 2013 by American Banker. She has been credited with steadying the Providence-based company following the national real estate and financial services sector bust, as well as shielding the bank from the problems of its British parent company Royal Bank of Scotland.

She was ranked No. 4 on American Banker’s list of the 25 most powerful women in banking, which was released in October 2012.

Alemany will be replaced by RBS Group CFO Bruce Van Saun.

The executive changes are part of a succession plan established last summer, according to the press release.

“I am proud of all that our RBS Citizens Financial Group colleagues have accomplished for our customers over the course of the past five years – a time of significant change in our industry,” Alemany said in the press release. “Having worked very closely with Bruce as a member of the RBS Group Executive Committee, he is the right leader to help shape our future growth.”

“I am very excited by this opportunity to lead RBS Citizens, and I look forward to continuing to build on the good work that’s been done in the bank under Ellen’s leadership,” Van Saun said in the press release. “With a strong foundation now in place, we are aiming to grow in the markets we serve and start preparing RBS Citizens Financial Group for a partial listing in the U.S. market.”

The planned IPO of Citizens Financial, which Royal Bank of Scotland bought in 1988, is part of its plans to raise much-needed capital to buy out the British government stake in the bank, according to a May 9 article in Dealbook, a financial news service produced by The New York Times

Van Saun was a former senior banker at Bank of New York Mellon before joining Royal Bank of Scotland during the financial crisis, according to the Times. His appointment had been widely expected ahead of the bank’s planned sale of a 25 percent stake in Citizens Financial in 2015, according to the Times.

“In the last four years we have made significant progress in making RBS a safer bank, better able to focus on the needs of its customers. Bruce has been an exceptional CFO and made an invaluable contribution to this progress,” said Hester.

“We are delighted that we are able to retain his talents as part of the group’s leadership team as he returns to the U.S. to lead Citizens towards the partial IPO we announced in February,” Hester said.


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