Cross River names Ballenger its new CFO

Cross River Bank, a provider of banking services for technology companies, announced Tuesday it has appointed Melissa Ballenger as its executive vice president and chief financial officer, effective immediately.

The Fort Lee-based banking institution said Ballenger will be responsible for overseeing the company’s strategic and financial planning, balance sheet structuring, accounting functions, risk management practices and more. She will report directly to Gilles Gade, founder, CEO and chairman of Cross River.

“As we look to the future, bringing on an executive of Melissa’s caliber – who possesses deep industry knowledge, a proven track record, and a clear ability to lead – positions Cross River to drive further growth and capitalize on the many opportunities ahead,” Gade said. “Melissa is a true finance leader with a diverse set of experiences, and she will be an exceptional asset to our strong, talented team. We look forward to leveraging Melissa’s expertise and financial acumen as we continue to build on our forward momentum following our recent equity raise and acquisition.”

Ballenger, who has 25 years of experience in the financial services industry, joined Cross River from State Street Corp., where she served as executive vice president, chief financial officer of Europe, Middle East and Africa.

“Cross River is disrupting a dynamic and rapidly-evolving financial services industry, and I am incredibly excited to be part of the team that will help this Company continue to grow and develop,” Ballenger said. “Gilles and his team embody the kind of leadership and values that inspire a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship that is helping to redefine the financial services and fintech space. I am looking forward to working alongside Gilles and the rest of the team to further strengthen the Company’s position as a leading provider of banking and fintech solutions.”

Prior to State Street, Ballenger was the executive vice president and chief financial officer at Santander Bank N.A., before becoming executive vice president, chief business control officer for Santander US. Previously, she held senior roles at other public companies, including executive vice president, deputy chief financial officer for TD Bank N.A.; controller and principal accounting officer at MasterCard Worldwide and Washington Mutual Bank; and senior financial roles at Freddie Mac. She began her career at Arthur Anderson.