Beneficial CFO's 'surprise' resignation

At Philadelphia's Beneficial Bank, the largest bank still based in town, the resignation of chief financial officer Joseph Conners last nigh "reflects potentially differing views among executive management as to the best direction for the franchise," writes Boenning & Scattergood analyst Jason O'Donnell this morning.

CEO "Gerard Cuddy has been decisive in pursuing a range of initiatives, including growing commercial lines of business, turning over branch managers and senior management, and instilling a sales culture," the report added.  

So, did Conners think the bank was growing too fast? "It seems to me that any differences among executive management were not personal but rather strategic in nature," O'Donnell told me. "Strategic issues could include the timing of a potential second step conversion, acquisition strategy, the direction of the balance sheet, and possibly the pace of growth."

O'Donnell and Sandler O'Neill + Partners bank analyst Frank Schiraldi separately told investors Conners' departure is a "surprise."