Travillian’s Banking and Fintech Team Celebrates Recent Placements

Travillian’s 2023 campaign – in which we celebrated our 25th anniversary – was exciting, unpredictable at times, but very successful.  We stay grateful to our clients all over the country for their trust to assist in their replenishment and recruitment of key talent during one of the most erratic markets in history.  And 2024 has begun with a bang, as well as optimism amidst the murkiness.  No matter what the makeup of your bank is, Travillian is proud to be your trusted advisor to a wide variety of financial institutions, including:

  • Salt-of-the-earth community banks with successful small business, consumer, and specialty business lines.
  • Faster-growth, acquisitive companies that are scaling at a fast pace and building the infrastructure of an organization twice their size.
  • Unique, private equity-backed entities with fresh, laser-focused strategies.
  • Tech-forward, innovative institutions that are partnering with fintechs.
  • Banks with key needs in the C-Suite, including pivotal roles like CEO, President, CFO, CTO/CIO, Chief Fintech Officer, and others.
  • Of-the-moment skillsets such as Audit and Risk (including BSA/AML, TPRM, ERM, Cybersecurity, etc.), finance and accounting, operations, and technology.

Our knowledge and passion for the industry runs deep. Our track record and reputation are proven.

To our existing clients, we look forward to deepening our relationships in 2024.  And to everyone else, let’s get to know each other in 2024.

Capital Bank

Just after placing Maryland-based Capital Bank, N.A.’s new Chief Financial Officer, Jay Walker, in summer 2023, Travillian was tasked with finding them a Chief Strategy Officer.  This role would need to be filled by a unique talent who could bolster the bank’s strategic planning process, help identify and implement new revenue streams, and make enhancements to current business lines. The ideal fit would also help the company leverage their experience in bank M&A and capital markets, to spearhead the bank’s investor relations and M&A strategies.  This search illustrated the true reach of Travillian’s 25-year-old network, incorporating diverse candidates from all over the landscape, including community banking, investment banking, specialty finance, and private equity.

Travillian was proud to introduce Jake Dalaya, who spent several years in investment banking, including at KBW and J.P. Morgan Securities, and embodied all of the desired traits and competencies.

Ed Barry, CEO of Capital Bank, said, “We’re pleased to have Jake join our team. His experience, particularly in mergers and acquisitions, aligns well with our strategic objectives for the future.”

“Capital Bank has built out a distinctive challenger bank business model, and I look forward to working with the executive management team as we continue to successfully implement this compelling strategy,” stated Mr. Dalaya.

Freedom Bank

Travillian was engaged by Virginia-based Freedom Bank to help them find a critical Chief Accounting Officer to their team.  Time was of the essence, and Travillian got to work quickly, tapping their referral sources at neighboring institutions, deep connections within CPA firms, and intelligence from other advisors.  Ultimately, Travillian delivered an experienced finance executive, David Sanders, within 90 days, finding the proverbial unicorn: someone who understood the community bank space, public reporting expectations, possessed top-tier accounting experience and – maybe most significantly – lived in the bank’s footprint.  David, a licensed CPA in VA, had previously served as Senior Vice President, Controller and Data Governance Officer.

“David is an excellent addition to the Freedom Bank leadership team. He brings demonstrated accounting experience and will be an asset in assisting with bank wide finance functions, ALCO, and regulatory reporting. David will play a critical role in strengthening the Bank’s financial reporting and preparing the Bank for continued growth and scale,” said Joe Thomas, President and CEO at Freedom Bank.

“I am excited to join the Freedom Bank team as Chief Accounting Officer,” said David Sanders. “I look forward to being a part of this successful organization filled with talented colleagues and helping drive the company’s financial performance and operational success.”

Lincoln Savings Bank

When privately held, Iowa-based Lincoln Savings Bank’s CEO resigned during the summer of 2023, they turned to Travillian again to assist them with arguably the most critical hire they might ever make. Travillian, working closely with Lincoln’s board of directors, quickly mobilized to begin an expansive, national search.  The chosen candidate would need to possess a variety of necessary experience, namely to guide the bank’s growth and strategic objectives, within their core banking and fintech divisions.  They desired a candidate with a proven track record in revenue growth, operational efficiency, and financial profitability. But most important still was finding someone who could understand and build on their existing culture, reflective in the metro and rural communities they serviced.  Travillian immediately thought of Sean Willett as a solid candidate, who then was serving as the Chief Administrative Officer at Five Star Bank in NY.  Amongst several other well-qualified executives, Sean was chosen as the next CEO of Lincoln Savings Bank, due to his “strategic expertise, robust operations background, and digital experience, coupled with his commitment to talent development, customer satisfaction, and community service.”

Upon announcing the hiring of Sean, he stated, “I am honored and excited to lead Lincoln Savings Bank into the next phase of its journey. I am committed to building upon the solid foundation that Emily Girsch and the entire team have established. Together, we will drive profitability, growth, and continued success for our employees, customers, and shareholders.”

Other Recent Placements





For more information or to see a full list of our placements, visit our website here.

Travillian’s Banking and FinTech Practice provides Search and Talent Advisory services to depository institutions across the country. Established in 1998, the firm has built a unique platform that touches every corner of the industry. To learn more, click here, or get in touch below!

Brian Love, Head of Banking & Fintech
(484) 680-6950 |

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