The Bank Slate


BayFirst in Florida lines up CEO succession

BayFirst Financial in St. Petersburg, Fla., will have a new CEO in 2024.

The $939 million-asset company said in a press release that Anthony Leo will retire at the end of this year, though he will remain a director and special counsel for strategic matters.

Thomas Zernick will succeed Leo as CEO. Zernick, who became president in February 2022, previously served as president of the company’s CreditBench government-guaranteed lending division.

Zernick’s selection followed a board-led succession planning process assisted by an independent management consultant.

“With a proven track record of success, we are confident Tom will lead the company to continued growth and profitability in the years to come,” Anthony Saravanos, BayFirst’s chairman, said in the release. “Tom’s appointment is a testament to the depth of management we enjoy at BayFirst.”

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