General Electric Co. (GE:US) named Chief Financial Officer Keith Sherin to lead the company’s finance unit, succeeding the retiring Mike Neal, as GE Capital sheds assets and comes under heightened regulatory oversight.
The appointment is effective July 1, the Fairfield, Connecticut-based company said today in a statement. Sherin, 54, will be succeeded at the parent company by GE Capital CFO Jeff Bornstein, 47.
The transition follows the Federal Reserve’s determination last week that GE Capital poses a potential risk to the U.S. financial system. Sherin also will lead efforts to further shrink the unit as GE CEO Jeff Immelt focuses on boosting profit from industrial products such as jet engines, locomotives and medical scanners.
Sherin is “a trusted colleague and a smart business partner,” Immelt said in the statement. “Keith is one of the most respected CFOs in the world.”
Sherin has been GE’s finance chief since 1998, after joining the company in 1981. Bornstein has been GE Capital’s CFO since 2008 and has been with the parent company since 1989. Neal, 60, will continue as a GE vice chairman through this year, the company said today.
GE rose 0.2 percent to $23.62 at 10:16 a.m. in New York. The shares (GE:US) had gained 12 percent this year through yesterday, as the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index advanced 14 percent.
Neal has led GE Capital since July 2005, steering it through the 2008 financial collapse and then a recovery. The unit got a capital infusion from GE and turned to government programs to bolster its access to credit as markets froze in the wake of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s bankruptcy.
GE Capital had $538 billion in assets as of March 31, larger than all but six U.S. banks, according to data compiled by the Fed. The unit reported profit of $7.4 billion on $46 billion in revenue last year.
Immelt has pledged to reduce ending net investment, a measure of GE Capital’s balance sheet that excludes non-interest-bearing liabilities and cash, by more than 25 percent to as little as $300 billion by the end of next year.
GE may divest some GE Capital businesses through an initial public offering, Immelt told analysts and investors at a conference last month.
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