On the horizon for KeyBank’s presence in Western New York are goals of expansion, philanthropy and tapping into a market ripe for a revitalization. From the acquisition of long-standing private banking staple First Niagara in late July 2016 to the establishment of a national advisory council for the $16.5 billion community benefits plan, established in August with two board members from Rochester, KeyBank’s presence in the Western New York market is set to become increasingly pronounced as time progresses.
As that progression takes off, leading a crucial portion is a new member of Key’s corporate hierarchy: James Iglewski, sales leader for Key Private Banking in the Western New York. A native of the village of Angola, about 20 miles southwest of Buffalo, Iglewski was eager to get back to his Western New York roots.
“The reason I originally left for New York [City] to begin with was because the office I was working with closed,” Iglewski said. “At that time, larger banks were shrinking, but now the KeyBank merger with First Niagara makes a market that is ripe for growth. It’s a home run for KeyBank.”
Rochester Regional President for KeyBank James Barger said he was thrilled to have Iglewski join the team.
“He brings a wealth of experience in both portfolio management and relationship building,” Barger said. “I look forward to working with him to help Key Private Bank grow in Rochester.”
Previously, Iglewski had worked handling high net worth accounts for Bank of America from 2002-2013. From there Iglewski went to lead the private banking end of US Trust, a subsidiary of Bank of America acquired in 2007. Now back in the Western New York region, Iglewski expressed excitement to be a part of a market that stands on the verge of a “Renaissance.”
“The best example is we’re seeing younger people now who are starting to stay in the region instead of heading to a major metropolitan area,” Iglewski said. “Because the quality of life is just so much better, this is a place where you can raise a family, and the cost of living is much lower.”
This observation is one that places Rochester in a peculiar situation in regard to its population: a city, while shrinking slowly, grows significantly younger. According to the US Census, between 2010 and 2016, the Rochester population dipped by .9 percent, from 210,756 to 208,880, while the population of people ages 20-34 grew by 8.8 percent from 2010-2015; higher than any other place in Upstate NY and higher than the national average of 6.1 percent.
“We have great colleges and universities, the infrastructure is all in place and all things that could revitalize this region are coming together,” Iglewski said.
With a greater presence in the Western New York region for KeyBank comes a greater social responsibility, one which Matthew Pitts, communications manager for the Western New York region, said is an utmost priority.
“Key takes a lot of pride in helping its communities thrive,” Pitts said. “Across our entire footprint are charitable causes.”
Aside from the aforementioned $16.5 billion plan for community investment, the KeyBank Foundation serves as the philanthropic branch of the Cleveland-based company, offering grants to community-empowering organizations and programs, founded in 1969.
Iglewski added that, for high net worth clients, there seems be a natural predisposition towards charitable causes.
“A lot of clients we deal with seem to be more philanthropically minded,” Iglewski said.
Now in a period of critical growth for the Western New York region, Iglewski said the priority is not over-ambition in its investments, but rather to coax along a community he sees as already on track to grow on its own.
“What we’re going to be focused on is organic growth,” Iglewski said. “That is, finding the right clients and picking up with a lot of First Niagara customers.”
In the spirit of respecting the legacy of First Niagara, Iglewski emphasized that crucial members of First Niagara’s team have found homes through the Key Bank merger, including former First Niagara Vice President Paul Hurley, now serving as a wealth adviser.
“I don’t want people thinking that these people were cut with the merger,” Iglewski said. “We wanted to keep a team going that truly knew the area and the market.”
Emphasizing this point, Pitts said the choice to retain staff from First Niagara is representative of the philosophy of Key in Western New York.
“It shows the commitment to the Rochester area market,” Pitts said. “Not just our market, but all of upstate. It shows we see the potential here, and are ready to help this region reach it.”