Commerce Bank founder and head forced out

Posted: June 29, 2007

Vernon W. Hill II is stepping down as chairman and CEO of Commerce Bank effective today, as the bank, working with federal regulators, has agreed to restructure its operations.

A statement from Commerce declares, "Effective immediately, any future real estate and vendor transactions, are prohibited with any members of the Board of Directors and Officers and their relatives."

In addition, earlier transactions involving directors and officers will be "terminated, revised or reviewed by independent parties," according to a company statement.

The new executive leadership team, part of a newly created Office of the Chairman, will include Dennis DiFlorio as chairman of Commerce Bank N.A., Robert Falese as president and CEO, and Douglas Pauls, who remains as chief financial officer.

Commerce described them as "three veteran executives who have long been responsible for the Bank's strategy and operations."

As president, DiFlorio had overseen retail banking, operations, information technology, marketing and human resources. Falese headed the commercial and investment banking unit and will continue to do so.

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