During the calendar year, the editors of ABF Journal posted and broadcast over 3,000 news stories. Shown below are the top 10 stories of the year, ranked in order of reader popularity. 

Sharkey to Lead Combined Fifth Third, MB Financial ABL Business 
Mike Sharkey was selected to head the combined national ABL business following the merger of Fifth Third Bank and MB Financial. The related SEC filing on the appointment included the integration plan, based on a meeting with Lars Anderson, EVP and COO of Fifth Third Bancorp. 

Wells Fargo Executive Shake-Up Sends Hardison, Julian Packing 
Wells Fargo’s Chief Administrative Officer Hope Hardison and Chief Auditor David Julian have begun leaves of absence from Wells Fargo and will no longer be members of the company’s Operating Committee. The company made several key leadership appointments in the wake of their exit. 

Fifth Third, MB Financial Merge in Transaction Valued at $4.7B 
Fifth Third and MB Financial signed a definitive merger agreement under which MB will merge with Fifth Third in a transaction valued at approximately $4.7 billion. Approximately 90% of the consideration will be in stock with the rest in cash. 

CIT Names Chief Underwriting Officer for Commercial Finance 
CIT Group named Christopher M. McLaughlin chief underwriting officer for its Commercial Finance division. In his new role, McLaughlin will be responsible for leading a team of underwriters and portfolio managers across a wide range of business segments. 

Sterling Adds Six New Bankers Across Key Business Units 
Sterling National Bank bolstered its Specialty Finance business with the addition of Maryanne Lenardo as Payroll Finance VP and managing director and Fred Weesner as ABL managing director and SVP. The bank also hired senior bankers Michael Varrone, James Whitehouse, Dennis Jurs and Brian Malone 

Signature Adds Eight Financial Execs to Specialty Finance & ABL Groups 
Signature Bank appointed Robert Abraham, Melissa Anchundia and Michael Grande to its ABL Group and added Katherine Adams, Steve Brantley, Karle Armitage, Andrew Jones and Anthony Zaccari to Signature Financial. 

PE Firms Competing with Traditional Lenders for Deals 
The Wall Street Journal reported many private-equity firms, such as Blackstone and KKR, are entering the lending market, fueled by an influx of cash from investors and supporting deals that banks won’t touch, creating intense competition for borrowers. 

Her Many Horses Joins Wells Fargo in Las Vegas 
Wells Fargo hired veteran banker Dawson Her Many Horses to lead the bank’s services to American Indian/Alaska Native governments and tribally-owned enterprises. Based in Las Vegas, Her Many Horses will serve customers throughout the U.S. 

Gump’s Files Chapter 11; Hilco, Gordon Bros to Liquidate 
Gump’s, the San Francisco-based, 157-year-old department store, filed voluntary petitions for relief under Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nevada. Hilco and Gordon Brothers will act as joint liquidators for Gump’s merchandise. 

Sterling Expands Commercial Banking/Finance Teams 
Sterling National Bank expanded its Commercial Banking and Commercial Finance business units by hiring Paul Keshian as VP/senior managing director and Jeffrey Ackerman and Steven Silverberg as VPs/ managing directors in New York and James Meicke as VP/managing director in New Jersey.