Steve Miller, a banker whose experience includes at least eight years in Asian banking markets, has been hired by Communities First Financial Corp., the parent company of Fresno First Bank, as the new president and CEO of both the company and the bank.
Miller joins the Fresno-based company after working with Alliance Bank as a senior executive vice president and head of its group business banking. From the fall of 2009 until earlier this year, he was the chief of group business banking for Alliance Financial Group in Malaysia, according to his LinkedIn profile. He previously was the head of small business banking for HSBC Indonesia for about two years.
Miller graduated from Columbia University in New York and began his banking career with MBNA America in 1995 as a member of the company’s management development program. Over almost 11 years at MBNA, he rose to the position of director of unsecured lending and customer marketing. In 2006, after MBNA was acquired by Bank of America, Miller joined GE Capital in an international office in Taiwan.
“We are absolutely elated to have Steve (Miller) joining our team,” Communities First / Fresno First Bank board chairman David Price said in a written statement. “He brings an unparalleled depth of knowledge and great diversity of thought to our organization.”
Miller steps into a position vacated when Fresno First Bank abruptly parted ways with its previous president/CEO, Rick Whitsell, in what the company called “a mutual decision” rooted in “strategic differences.” Whitsell had been with the company since 2007 after a banking career that began in 1970. The job was filled on an interim basis by executive vice president/chief financial officer Steve Canfield.
Miller and his wife and children have relocated to Fresno.
Communities First Financial stock is traded on the OTCQX over-the-counter board under the stock symbol CFST. The company’s stock was priced Wednesday at $10.25 per share, unchanged from Tuesday’s closing price.