The head of Huntington Bank's Private Client Group is set to retire next year, the Columbus, Ohio-based bank announced on Wednesday.

James Dunlap, a senior executive vice president, will continue in his role leading the bank's private wealth businesses as the company prepares for the acquisition of FirstMerit Corp., which is expected to close in the third quarter.

Dunlap will play a leadership role in integrating the combined company during the first quarter of 2017, the bank said. It could not specify when exactly he will retire due to the "moving components of the proposed merger" and Dunlap's "commitment to stay on to facilitate integration," according to Brent Wilder, a spokesman for Huntington.

His successor had not yet been selected, Wilder said.

James Dunlap will continue in his role leading the bank's private wealth businesses as the company prepares for the acquisition of FirstMerit Corp. in the third quarter.
James Dunlap will continue in his role leading the bank's private wealth businesses as the company prepares for the acquisition of FirstMerit Corp. in the third quarter.

Dunlap is director of both the Huntington Private Client Group and Regional Banking and serves as the company's senior executive for the state of Michigan and interim East Michigan region president. The Huntington Private Client Group includes the Huntington Private Bank, Huntington Wealth and Investment Management and the Huntington Investment Company.

Dunlap joined Huntington in 1979 in Northwest Ohio. He has held a number of positions since then, including commercial banking director, West Michigan region president, Florida operations president and Northwest Ohio operations president.

"I cherish my nearly four decades at Huntington," Dunlap said in a statement, adding that he was proud of his accomplishments helping the company grow. "I am confident it will be in capable hands moving forward so that now is an ideal time for me to plan for my pending retirement."

The bank credited Dunlap's leadership for the recent recognition of the Huntington Private Client Group as one of the top banks in the country for client likelihood to recommend its wealth and investment services.

"Jim has been an invaluable partner to me over the years and, as an integral member of our executive leadership team, has been a significant contributor to Huntington's strategies and growth," Steve Steinor, Huntington's chairman, president and CEO, said in a statement. "I am personally grateful that he has chosen to help our transition to become a top 20 bank."