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CIT Names Ex-Merrill Chief Thain as CEO

CIT, the commercial lender, named John Thain, former Merrill Lynch CEO, as its new chairman and chief executive.

Updated from 12:19 a.m. EST

NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) --

CIT

(CIT) - Get CIT Group Inc. Report

, the commercial lender, named John Thain, former Merrill Lynch CEO, as its new chairman and chief executive.

Thain will take up the post immediately. He replaces Peter Tobin, who was serving as interim CEO of CIT, which entered bankruptcy in late 2009 and re-emerged on Dec. 10.

Thain was the architect of Merrill's sale to

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Bank of America Corp Report

in the fall of 2008. He left Merrill soon after the merger with Bank of America was completed.

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"I am pleased to have the opportunity to lead the newly reorganized CIT," Thain said in a statement Sunday. "The company's numerous market-leading positions are evidence of the resiliency of the franchise and its unwavering commitment to its customers."

CIT

, one of the nation's largest lenders to small and mid-sized businesses, named three well-known financial services industry executives to its board last month as it tries to shift its funding model to rely more on bank deposits and less on offering debt through the public markets.

CIT didn't disclose Thain's compensation. However,

Bloomberg

, citing a person familiar with the matter, said Thain will receive $500,000 in salary and $5.5 million in shares, of which $2.5 million is restricted for one year and $3 million is locked up for three years.

CIT shares closed Friday at $30.75, up 30 cents, or 1%.

-- Reported by Joseph Woelfel in New York.

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