Sun National Bank owner Sun Bancorp Inc., Mount Laurel, under pressure to please investors and government regulators and boost its sagging share price, plans to sell or shut a string of branches and lay off 38% of the company's 600-plus workers, new CEO Thomas O'Brien said in a statement. "The layoffs are part of an overall restructuring plan to bring the bank's revenue and expense model, and overall efficiency ratio, in line with our peers," spokesman Mike Dineen told me.
Sun has long been run by members of the Bernie Brown family, who built a retail and real estate kingdom in Vineland and later developed the trucking firm National Freight and the transport logistics firm NFI of Cherry Hill. The bank also counts 76-year-old buyout specialist Wilbur L. Ross Jr., who controls nearly 25% of the stock, and Philip A. Norcross, a member of South Jersey's most prominent Democratic family, as directors.
The company plans to sell its Shore branches to Sturdy Savings Bank for a net gain of around $11 million, and shut central new Jersey branches in Branchburg, Holland, Hillsborough, and on Main St. in Freehold, NJ. Sun plans instead to focus on faster-growing parts of the state, and may close more South Jersey branches by next year. Sun also plans to shut Sun Home Loans and its healthcare and asset-based lending units. More here.