Live Oak Bancshares in Wilmington, N.C., one of the largest 7(a) program lenders in the U.S. last year, has promoted Greg Thompson to chief operating officer.

Thompson steps into the newly created position after having been brought on recently to lead the $946 million-asset company's new e-Lending initiative. He will continue to report to Live Oak's president, Neil Underwood.

"[Thompson's] background in technology and operations makes him uniquely qualified to help us further scale the business," Underwood said in a news release Thursday.

Prior to joining Live Oak, Thompson served as the executive vice president of shared services at Square 1 Bank, which was acquired by PacWest Bancorp in October.

Live Oak was the country's second-largest Small Business Administration 7(a) lender in terms of dollar volume in fiscal year 2015, with $1.15 billion in loans.

The bank, which took the top spot on American Banker's Best Banks to Work For list in 2015, specializes in lending to niche borrowers such as veterinarians, funeral homes, dentists and small-town pharmacies.

Subscribe Now

Access to a full range of industry content, analysis and expert commentary.

30-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Access coverage of the securitization marketplace, including breaking news updated throughout the day.