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Huntington Bank Announces New Chief Risk Officer

Helga Houston will replace the bank's current chief risk officer, Kevin Blakely, when he retires at the end of this year.

Columbus, Ohio-based Huntington Bank has announced that Helga Houston will succeed Kevin Blakely as the bank's chief risk officer when he leaves at the end of the year. Blakely is retiring after almost 40 years in banking and three years at Huntington Bank, during which he strengthened the institution's risk management culture. Houston will report to Stephen D. Steinour, chairman, president and CEO of the $53 billion regional bank.

Currently a partner with Phoenix Global Advisors in Charlotte, N.C., Houston has 30 years of industry experience in the areas of risk management, business development and client relationships. She was previously at Bank of America for 20 years, where she most recently was its global consumer and small business risk and compliance executive. She also held real estate positions with Crocker National Bank and Home Federal Savings and Loan, and served as a board member and then the vice chair of the Risk Management Association.

"Strong risk management is key to creating a long-term financial performance culture. Over the last three years, we have made significant investments in people and technology that have strengthened our risk identification and management policies and processes," said Steinour in a press release announcing the appointment. "Helga brings us broad-based experience in a variety of risk management roles that allows us to continue to promote a strong risk management culture. Her leadership will support our disciplined growth strategy and enhance our executive team."

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