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CIT Group Inc. is a United States financial holding company founded in 1908 with more than $35 billion in finance and leasing assets. The company's name is an abbreviation of an early corporate name, Commercial Investment Trust. It provides financing and leasing capital to its middle market clients and their customers across more than 30 industries. CIT maintains leadership positions in middle market lending, factoring, retail finance, aerospace, equipment and rail leasing, and global vendor finance. CIT also operates CIT Bank , BankOnCIT.com, its primary bank subsidiary, which offers a suite of online savings options designed to help customers achieve a range of financial goals.The company is part of the Fortune 500 and was a part of the S&P 500 Index until it was replaced by Red Hat at the close of trading July 24, 2009. The Company is headquartered in New York City, and employs approximately 3,700 people in locations throughout North America, Europe, Latin America, and Asia Pacific. It declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy on November 1, 2009, and with the consent of its bondholders proposed to quickly emerge from bankruptcy court proceedings. The Company emerged from bankruptcy 38 days later on December 10, 2009. Wikipedia.

News Article | November 3, 2015
Site: www.wsj.com

CIT Group Inc. said profit soared in its third quarter as the lender closed its acquisition of OneWest Bank NA. But shares fell after the bank said the potential sale or spinoff of its commercial air business could take a year. The lender’s earnings were buoyed by one-time items as it reported a profit of $693.1 million, up from $514.9...

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Despite the explosion of big data throughout Corporate America, middle market executives are judging the state of the economy based on personal experience and observation more than economic indicators. Approximately three in five executives say the best way to judge the U.S. economy is through observing the economic stability of their community, friends, and coworkers. Less than half (41%) say government data is a better way to judge the economy. These are some of the key findings found in the fourth annual Voice of the Middle MarketTM (www.cit.com/middlemarketoutlook) study released today by CIT Group Inc. (NYSE:CIT), a leading provider of commercial lending and leasing services. Although middle market executives are more optimistic about the U.S. and global economies in 2015, they are still guarded as only 35% and 22% describe them as strong, respectively. Executives have the most confidence in their local economies, with nearly half describing it as strong. An overwhelming majority (83%) reported data security as a concern, up from 67% in 2014. With such prominent data breaches in the news over the past year, data security outpaced concerns such as the Affordable Care Act, regulations, and tax increases. “Rather than relying only on data, our study revealed that middle market executives judge the economy based on their own experiences and from what they see impacting those close to them,” said Jim Hudak, President of CIT Corporate Finance. “Everything is local, and that’s especially true for the middle market which really represents the Main Streets of the American economy. Government statistics remain critically important, but if a store on Main Street loses its lease, that has a significant impact on how these executives view the economy.” Jeff Kilrea, Group Head and Managing Director of CIT Sponsor Finance, added, “A key takeaway from the study is that a large majority of middle market executives (61%) completely agree that policies coming out of Washington are more about scoring political points than solving real problems. In fact, 45% of middle market executives strongly feel like Washington doesn’t understand the middle market. This data is valuable as it’s crucial that we understand how middle market executives view key issues that are impacting their businesses.” CIT thought leadership content can be found at View from the Middle™ (cit.com/viewfromthemiddle) and our CIT Point of View blog (cit.com/pov). View our corporate video (cit.com/corporatevideo) and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Facebook. Register to receive press releases at cit.com/newsalerts. KRC Research, on behalf of CIT, fielded an online survey among 406 U.S. middle market executives representing a range of industries. Fieldwork was conducted in the United States in August and September of 2015. In order to be eligible to participate in the survey, respondents had to be in a leadership role at firms with revenues between $25 million and $1 billion, the majority of whose employees were based in the United States. Researchers defined leadership roles as: Owner, C-Suite Executive (Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Information Officer, Chief Investment Officer, or other C-Suite title), or SVP/VP/Director. Founded in 1908, CIT (NYSE:CIT) is a financial holding company with more than $65 billion in assets. Its principal bank subsidiary, CIT Bank, N.A., (Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender) has more than $30 billion of deposits and more than $40 billion of assets. It provides financing, leasing and advisory services principally to middle market companies across more than 30 industries primarily in North America, and equipment financing and leasing solutions to the transportation sector. It also offers products and services to consumers through its Internet bank franchise and a network of retail branches in Southern California, operating as OneWest Bank, a division of CIT Bank, N.A. cit.com

News Article | October 26, 2015
Site: www.wsj.com

John Thain’s quest to build a banking empire at CIT Group came to an end last week. That should be an occasion for soul searching in the boardrooms of some of the biggest U.S. banks. Mr. Thain bears the dubious distinction of having built the first intentionally created SIFI, or “systemically important financial institution.” He earned that through the acquisition of OneWest Bank, a move that pushed CIT’s assets above the $50...

News Article | October 23, 2015
Site: www.bloomberg.com

Looking back, John Thain figures he could’ve fixed Merrill Lynch & Co. As the world knows, he didn’t. But after the brokerage collapsed into the arms of Bank of America Corp. and Thain was cast out, he became the unlikely Mr. Fix-It at CIT Group Inc. Now he’s moving on again -- this time, on his terms. The 60-year-old is stepping down as CIT’s chief executive officer on March 31, 2016, after spending six years bringing the commercial lender back from its 2009 bankruptcy. “The most important thing in terms of turning around CIT versus Merrill Lynch was the environment I was operating in,” Thain said in an interview Thursday. “I had the time to refinance $31 billion in debt. We had time to dispose of bad assets, and we didn’t have the financial crisis that happened right in the middle of when I was trying to fix Merrill.” He will stay on as chairman, handing the reins to former Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc executive and CIT board member Ellen Alemany. He said he’s been discussing his departure with CIT’s board for about six months; he plans to retire and spend more time with his 2-year-old granddaughter. The CIT job was Thain’s third stint as a turnaround CEO; he also oversaw a transition at the New York Stock Exchange, taking the company public in 2006 and leading it through a $14 billion merger with Euronext NV. He pushed the exchange into more electronic trading, but said he probably won’t follow the example of other bank executives who’ve aligned with so-called fintech firms: technology startups that offer financial services such as lending and payment processing. Former CEOs at Morgan Stanley and Citigroup, John Mack and Vikram Pandit, have spent the last few years investing in and advising these types of businesses. “I’m a little skeptical about some of these fintech models; I’m not sure they’re going to be sustainable when we get into a downturn in the credit cycle,” Thain said. He’s not ruling out some other type of entrepreneurial role, though. “My last three jobs have been fixing. If you gave me that choice, I would choose building,” he said. “Growing something in general or something in the technology space more broadly would be interesting to me.” After nine months as Merrill Lynch CEO trying to quell its mortgage losses, Thain arranged the sale to Bank of America in September 2008. The agreement was for $29 a share, half the stock price when Thain took over, but the company avoided the fate of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., which went bankrupt the same weekend. Thain said the experience was like trying to patch a leaky ship as it sailed into a Category 5 hurricane. Four months later, Thain was pushed out because of the growing losses, which required the bank to take another $20 billion in taxpayer funds, and his plan to accelerate $3.6 billion in bonus payments for employees. He also was widely criticized for spending more than $1 million on office redecoration, an expense he said he later repaid. “If I could rewrite history, I would give myself time to fix Merrill, because I hated selling it to Bank of America, but it was necessary to save it,” he said. “I would’ve liked to be the CEO of Merrill for 10 years. That would’ve been fun.” CIT offered Thain an unglamorous spot for rebounding after his departure from Bank of America: The lender to small and medium-size companies reported less revenue in 2009 than Bank of America made in an average week. Thain overhauled CIT’s finances, rebuilt relations with regulators, reinstated shareholder payouts and completed a $3.4 billion acquisition of OneWest Bank. The company’s shares returned 33 percent from the time he took over through Wednesday; in the same period, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index more than doubled. CIT announced Wednesday its intent to sell lending operations in Canada and China and explore strategic options for its $10 billion Commercial Air business, which manages a fleet of more than 350 commercial aircraft. Thain called that the last piece of the company’s reshaping. The news sent CIT shares up 16 percent Thursday. “It takes longer to fix things that someone else broke than you think, and it takes more capital or more financial assets than you think,” he said. But “it is fun.”

News Article | October 22, 2015
Site: www.businesswire.com

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The announcement by CIT Group Inc. (CIT, long-term Issuer Default Rating [IDR] 'BB+'; Outlook Stable) that John A. Thain will retire as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at the end of first-quarter 2016, following the announcement earlier this week that CIT's Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Scott T. Parker will depart the company in November 2015, brings the strategic and financial policies of their successors to the forefront according to Fitch Ratings. CIT's ratings are unaffected at this time, but Fitch notes that execution risk is likely to be elevated for some time while CIT seeks to manage the transition of two of its senior most leaders, the continued integration of OneWest Bank N.A. (OneWest) and the potential sale of a meaningful portion of the existing business. It is highly unusual for CEO and CFO changes to be announced the same week, particularly during a period when the company and the capital markets are not under material duress. In CIT's case, the timing is not ideal as the integration of OneWest remains on-going, but directionally, it follows Thain's execution of the post-bankruptcy restructuring and growth of CIT over the past five years. Fitch has viewed Thain as presenting CIT with incrementally higher key man risk relative to peers, given his significant influence on the firm's strategic direction and his strong reputation with market participants. That said, Fitch does not view his announced departure as posing imminent credit risk to the institution, largely because of the efforts he has already led to restructure and stabilize the company. Thain will remain Chairman of the Board after his retirement as CEO, which is a positive from a corporate governance perspective as split Chairman and CEO roles provides a clearer delineation between board oversight and executive management roles. The fact that Thain will remain involved in a board capacity may also help to ensure a smoother management transition while preserving existing strategic goals and firm culture. In Fitch's opinion, CIT is enacting a credible senior management transition. Thain's successor (effective March 31, 2016), Ellen R. Alemany, and Parker's successor (effective Nov. 1, 2015), Carol Hayles, bring a combination of external perspectives and internal familiarity with CIT at the Board and management levels, respectively, to their new roles. Alemany has served on CIT's board since January 2014, and has considerable previous industry experience within RBS Citizens Financial Group, Inc. and Citigroup Inc. Hayles also has a long track record as Corporate Controller at CIT and in leadership roles at Citigroup Inc. Ensuring a smooth management change is particularly important in CIT's case given the on-going OneWest integration and the company's announced plan to explore strategic alternatives for its $10 billion Commercial Air business and certain CIT Canada and CIT China businesses. Successful execution on these initiatives would allow CIT to refine its position as commercial bank tailored primarily to U.S. small business and middle market customers. With CIT surveying strategic alternatives for the Commercial Air business and certain CIT Canada and CIT China businesses, portfolio refinement as opposed to expansion seems the more likely route near term, and Fitch will monitor whether there will be any changes in financial policy under the leadership of Alemany and Hayles and as the business repositioning is effectuated. The potential divesture of the Commercial Air business coincides with a supportive market for aircraft lessors, as evidenced by Avolon Holdings Ltd.'s recently announced sale to Bohai Leasing Co. Ltd. for a 31% premium to its pre-announcement share price. It also follows acknowledgement by CIT earlier this year that it has previously had dialogue with certain activist investors. As CIT's bank has grown in size, synergies from the aircraft leasing business have become less meaningful for the overall business given limitations on how much of the aircraft leasing business can be funded with bank deposits and how much of CIT's net operating loss carryforward can be captured with gains in the aircraft leasing business. Nevertheless, an aircraft leasing divestiture would reduce overall earnings diversity by business line and geography and the questions related to use of proceeds remains unanswered. At June 30, 2015, pro forma for the OneWest transaction, financing and leasing assets from commercial airlines (including the commercial aerospace portfolio and additional financing and leasing assets) represented 14.8% of total assets. The potential sales of certain CIT Canada and CIT China businesses are viewed as less impactful, given their smaller size. At June 30, 2015, pro forma for the OneWest transaction, non-transportation-related businesses in Canada and China each represented approximately 1% of total assets. Fitch currently rates CIT Group Inc. as follows: Additional information is available on www.fitchratings.com. ALL FITCH CREDIT RATINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CERTAIN LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS. PLEASE READ THESE LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK: HTTP://FITCHRATINGS.COM/UNDERSTANDINGCREDITRATINGS. IN ADDITION, RATING DEFINITIONS AND THE TERMS OF USE OF SUCH RATINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE AGENCY'S PUBLIC WEBSITE 'WWW.FITCHRATINGS.COM'. PUBLISHED RATINGS, CRITERIA AND METHODOLOGIES ARE AVAILABLE FROM THIS SITE AT ALL TIMES. FITCH'S CODE OF CONDUCT, CONFIDENTIALITY, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, AFFILIATE FIREWALL, COMPLIANCE AND OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FROM THE 'CODE OF CONDUCT' SECTION OF THIS SITE. FITCH MAY HAVE PROVIDED ANOTHER PERMISSIBLE SERVICE TO THE RATED ENTITY OR ITS RELATED THIRD PARTIES. DETAILS OF THIS SERVICE FOR RATINGS FOR WHICH THE LEAD ANALYST IS BASED IN AN EU-REGISTERED ENTITY CAN BE FOUND ON THE ENTITY SUMMARY PAGE FOR THIS ISSUER ON THE FITCH WEBSITE.

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