Chairman and CEO of Fulton Financial Corporation R. Scott Smith Jr., will retire at the end of the year. And E. Philip Wenger, currently the company’s president and COO, will succeed him as chairman, president and CEO, effective Jan. 1, 2013.

Smith joined Pennsylvania-based Fulton Bank, the company’s flagship bank, as director of Human Resources in 1978. He went on to assume a variety of positions at the bank before being promoted to chairman, president and CEO in 1998. In 2001, he was named president and COO and a director of parent company Fulton Financial Corporation, and in 2006, he took over as chairman, president and CEO.

During his tenure as CEO, the company’s assets grew from $12.4 billion to $16.4 billion and the number of banking offices increased from 232 to 270 locations, the company said. 

Smith served on the board of the American Bankers Association (2006 – 2009) and as a director on the Federal Advisory Council to the Federal Reserve Board (2008 – 2010), where he was one of 12 bankers to meet with Chairman Bernanke and the Federal Reserve’s board of governors to provide information and opinions on financial services and the economy. He has served on the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia since 2011.

“Our strategy has been that long-term, loyal employees create long-term, loyal customers, who create long-term, loyal shareholders,” Smith said in a statement. “I will leave with complete confidence that Phil Wenger and his senior management team will lead Fulton Financial Corporation to even greater success in years to come.”

Wenger joined Fulton Bank in 1979. He assumed diverse positions in the corporate lending area before being promoted to executive vice president of Corporate Banking in 1996. In 2001, Wenger was named senior executive vice president of the Lancaster, York and Chester Counties Division, and in 2003 was promoted to president and COO of Fulton Bank. In 2006, Wenger was named chairman and CEO of Fulton Bank and senior executive vice president of Fulton Financial Corporation. He was promoted to president and COO in December 2008. 

Fulton Financial Corporation has 3,850 employees and operates more than 270 banking offices in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and Virginia. The company’s investment management and trust services are offered through Fulton Financial Advisors.

Margarida Correia writes for Bank Investment Consultant.