The CEO of Raleigh, North Carolina-based West Town Bank & Trust and its parent company, Integrated Financial Holdings, was killed in a plane crash Saturday in Suffolk, Virginia.
Eric Bergevin was in a small passenger plane with one other person when it crashed at 12:16 p.m. and caught fire, Virginia State Police said. The second passenger, Christian Fauchald, also died in the crash.
Suffolk Fire & Rescue officials said the crash caused a 35-acre brush and forest fire and required several nearby homes to evacuate, according to WTVR.
In a statement following the crash, Integrated Financial called Bergevin “a larger-than-life visionary with extraordinary drive, entrepreneurship experience and banking intellect.”
Under Bergevin’s leadership, West Town Bank evolved from a traditional community bank into “a forward-thinking, dynamic financial services organization that excelled in many areas where most banks of similar size did not,” the company said.
Marc McConnell, chairman of Integrated Financial’s board of directors, will become acting president and CEO.
McConnell called Bergevin’s death “an unfathomable loss.”
“Eric was a great friend to so many, a loving father and husband, a respected member of the banking industry,” he said in a statement. “On behalf of our Board of Directors and employees, we extend our deepest sympathies to the Bergevin family during this extremely difficult time.”
Melissa Marsal, executive vice president and chief operating officer of West Town Bank and Integrated Financial, has been appointed president and CEO of West Town Bank.
West Virginia-based MVB Financial announced plans to acquire Integrated Financial in a $98 million all-stock deal in August.
At the time, the merger was set to close in the first quarter of 2023. Integrated Financial said Monday the deal “remains on track.”
The crash that killed Bergevin is at least the second involving bank executives this month. Brent Beardall, the CEO of Seattle-based Washington Federal, has taken a leave of absence after surviving a Utah plane crash that killed the pilot and injured a second WaFd executive Jan. 5.