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OTP Bank deputy CEO Zoltán Spéder resigns - extended

Zoltán Spéder, who has served as OTP Bank Nyrt's top deputy under Chairman Sándor Csányi since 1995, resigned yesterday because of family reasons, the lender said in a statement to the Budapest Stock Exchange.

Spéder, who quit all positions with OTP, is replaced by László Urbán, a director at Hungary's central bank, according to a separate statement today. Spéder had been a board member since 1991, ascending to vice president in 1995 and CFO in 1996, OTP said. The former deputy CEO was part of OTP's management through the bank's expansion across eastern Europe, helping Csányi buy 10 banks in four years. His departure adds to questions about management's ability to cope with the acquisitions.

„Investors may start wondering whether OTP will be able to reach its targets without Spéder,” said Ákos Herczenik, an analyst with the Budapest unit of Raiffeisen International Bank Holding AG. „Spéder was a key figure of the bank's new strategy, as well as a significant player in its past success.” The shares fell 0.9% to 8,323 forint by 9:10 a.m. in Budapest, declining for a fifth session. They have gained 21% in the past three months, the third-best performance on Hungary's benchmark BUX index which rose 7.2% in that time.

Spéder had been a board member since 1991, ascending to vice president in 1995 and chief financial officer in 1996. He owned 1.6 million OTP shares as of December 7, or 0.5% of the company, worth Ft 13 billion ($67 million). He was ranked Hungary's 22nd wealthiest person by Magyar Hirlap last year.

Urbán, a 1998 candidate for the finance minister's post, had worked at the central bank since 2005. He previously held positions at the World Bank, ABN Amro Holding NV, Citigroup Inc. And Postabank Rt. He will start his new job January 15, the bank said. (Bloomberg)