World News: 21:15 GMT Wednesday 11th July 2018. [WSFS Financial Corporation via Globe Newswire via SPi World News]
WILMINGTON, Del., July 11, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- WSFS Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:WSFS), the parent company of WSFS Bank, announced that effective January 1, 2019, Mark A. Turner, Chairman, President and CEO, will become the Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors and that Rodger Levenson, WSFS’ Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, will become the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board.
As Executive Chairman, Mr. Turner will lead the Board of Directors with Lead Independent Director Eleuthère I. du Pont and facilitate the seamless transition to Mr. Levenson. He will also leverage his decades of experience in and knowledge of local markets and the banking industry to serve as an external champion for the Company, further enhance WSFS’ culture and reputation, and help shape the next chapter of the Bank’s growth story.
Mr. Turner, born and raised in Philadelphia and a lifelong resident of several communities in the Delaware Valley, was appointed WSFS’ President and CEO in April 2007 and has served in management for more than 22 years, including two decades as a member of the executive leadership team. In over 11 years as WSFS’ Chief Executive, a period that includes the Great Recession, he and his leadership team helped the Company and its many communities to grow and prosper. Mr. Turner and his team steadfastly executed WSFS’ strategy of Associate and Customer engagement and made significant investments, which strengthened the communities the Bank serves and substantially increased market share and returns for WSFS Owners. During this time, WSFS has earned multiple accolades, including 13 consecutive “top workplace” honors in Delaware and four consecutive similar distinctions in Southeastern Pennsylvania, the Bank’s newer market. In addition, Customers have repeatedly selected WSFS as the “best bank” and a “top bank” in Delaware and Southeastern Pennsylvania. Since the months just after the 2008 financial crisis when the Company recorded a cycle low market valuation of approximately $100 million, WSFS’ market capitalization has increased to more than $1.7 billion, and Owners have experienced a total shareholder return of over 900 percent.
Mr. Levenson is also a lifelong resident of the Delaware Valley and has more than 32 years of local banking experience. He joined WSFS in 2006 and has served in various executive leadership roles, including Chief Commercial Banking Officer (2006-2015) and interim Chief Financial Officer (2015-2016). Most recently, from June 2016 to August 2017, as Chief Corporate Development Officer, Mr. Levenson led cross-functional teams to evaluate, negotiate and integrate many mergers, acquisitions and large capital transactions. And since August 2017, he has led the Company’s executive leadership team as Chief Operating Officer and has assumed other executive responsibilities as Mr. Turner’s deputy. Mr. Levenson has also been a key member of WSFS’ investor relations team over the last decade.
Lead Independent Director Eleuthère I. du Pont said, “This transition is part of our thoughtful, deliberate, and continual Board and executive management succession planning process. The success that our Company has experienced throughout Mark’s tenure is evident: more than 11 years of disciplined, sustained and profitable growth; superior total shareholder returns and market valuation; eight mergers and acquisitions, including expansions in wealth management and banking in the Pennsylvania market; innovative products and partnerships; highly engaged Associates and loyal ‘Customer Advocates’; and a deep commitment to our communities. We are incredibly grateful to Mark for his leadership and we are very pleased to appoint him as our Executive Chairman. The Board enthusiastically supports Rodger, who helped Mark lead these efforts, as Rodger builds on our momentum, fosters new thinking and positions WSFS for even more success.”
“For a long time, I have strongly believed that in a fast-changing society, economy and industry, 10 to 15 years is an optimal period for most leaders to serve as a public-company CEO,” said Mr. Turner. “The Board and I first started discussing the possibility of this transition over five years ago and we have been carefully and thoughtfully planning for it since.”
Mr. Turner continued, “I am excited for WSFS and for Rodger. The Board helped develop Rodger, evaluated him, and unanimously and enthusiastically selected him to lead WSFS to an even brighter future. He is the right person for the job, is a natural fit, and he will mold the next generation of WSFS leaders. I look forward to the next phase of my service to WSFS, and helping Rodger and WSFS become more successful than ever. I am also eager to explore and take on new challenges in my life.”
“It is truly an honor to carry forward our strategy and lead the organization that Mark and our leadership team have built,” said Mr. Levenson. “I am humbled by the trust that Mark and our Board have in me and I am grateful to our highly talented WSFS Associates who deliver on our mission every single day. Working together, we will continue to grow, innovate and invest in our Associates and technology to meet the rapidly changing expectations of our Customers. These investments, coupled with our mission, engagement strategy and values, will continue to deliver premium returns for our Owners.”
Mr. Levenson earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from Temple University and a Master of Business Administration from Drexel University. He began his banking career in 1986 in Philadelphia at CoreStates Financial (now part of Wells Fargo) and held a number of leadership roles during his 17-year tenure. He then became a member of Citizens Bank’s regional senior leadership team in 2003 and served in that capacity until he joined WSFS in 2006. He reinforced his leadership experiences with certifications from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Center for Creative Leadership, and Harvard Business School. As a committed and active member of his community, Mr. Levenson currently serves on the Boards of Directors for the United Way of Delaware and the Wilmington Housing Partnership, and is a member of the Board of Governors for the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce. He also served as Chairman of the Delaware Bankers Association.
Photos accompanying this announcement are available at
Globe Newswire: 21:15 GMT Wednesday 11th July 2018
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