CIT loses yet another shipping chief

Adam Conrad leaves role as head of maritime finance for reasons unknown after just a year in the job

New York-based CIT Group has lost the head of its maritime finance group for the third time in 16 months.

Adam Conrad left earlier this month, according to sources who were told of the departure.

The circumstances of Conrad’s exit were not clear. No change has been announced by the bank and Conrad was no longer reachable on his former work email or phone this week.

A CIT spokesman did not immediately respond to queries from TradeWinds.

Conrad had stepped in as group head of maritime finance almost exactly a year ago after working for three years as chief credit officer in the unit.

He had replaced Omer Donnerstein, who held the job for only about five months. Donnerstein left to join CIT’s original head of maritime, Svein Engh, at hedge fund EnTrust Capital, which has developed a distressed-asset fund for shipping and offshore.

Conrad had appeared at an industry event, Capital Link’s annual New York finance forum, only last month as a member of a lenders’ panel.

His departure roughly corresponded with CIT's completion of a $10.38bn sale of its aircraft leasing business to Dublin-based Avolon Holdings, although there was no immediate indication of a connection between the two developments.

CIT made its mark by plunging into ship lending at a time when many other banks were rushing out in 2013. Engh built the effort from a team of one to 14 by 2015, with the portfolio exceeding $1.5bn at the time Donnerstein filled his chair in December 2015.

With each of the previous changes, CIT has said there would be no change in its commitment to ship lending.

Junior staffers who have assisted Conrad in maritime finance include James Lightbourn and George Pierot, both vice-presidents.