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Business Observer Friday, Dec. 4, 2015 3 years ago

Banker, with elevated role, eyes $1B in assets

Shaun Merriman will help guide statewide operations of Gateway Bank.

SARASOTA — Prominent area business leader and banker Shaun Merriman will take on an additional leadership role at Gateway Financial Holdings of Florida, the holding company that oversees Sarasota-based Gateway Bank of Southwest Florida.

Merriman was recently named CEO of the holding company; he will maintain his role as president and CEO of Gateway Bank of Southwest Florida, one of three Gateways in the company. The other Gateways are based in Ocala and Daytona, and together the trio of banks has about $750 million in assets.

In an interview with the Business Observer, Merriman says he will spend about one-third of his time on the holding company, working on everything from operations to strategic planning. One key task will be to help the bank navigate through increasingly complicated regulatory challenges while working toward growing combined assets to $1 billion. “It's a juggling act,” Merriman says. “You have to be mindful of so many things today.”

The $1 billion mark, says Merriman, is a particularly important goal. That's the figure many in banking point toward as a tipping point for a bank's scale and growth potential. If it's under that threshold, it could become an acquisition target.

Merriman will work closely with fellow Gateway Financial Holdings executive David Maholias in his new role with the holding company. Maholias is president and CEO of Daytona Beach-based Gateway Bank of Florida.

This article was updated to reflect the correct title Merriman will have at the holding company.

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