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First Niagara names Crosby as CEO

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Rochester Business Journal
December 19, 2013

First Niagara Financial Group Inc. has elevated Gary Crosby to president and CEO after nine months of interim service, the Buffalo-based bank announced Thursday.

“Gary’s wide range of experience, his relationships inside and outside the company, and his demonstrated ability to deliver solid operating results make him the best person for the position,” Chairman Thomas Bowers said in a statement.

Crosby, 60, was named interim president and CEO in March following the board’s dismissal of John Koelmel as the bank’s top executive. Crosby joined First Niagara in 2009 as executive vice president and chief administrative and operating officer.

The bank conducted a national search to replace Koelmel.

Koelmel orchestrated a series of acquisitions that extended First Niagara’s presence into Pennsylvania and southern New England. He also engineered the bank’s acquisition of HSBC Bank USA N.A. retail branches in Upstate New York.

“The First Niagara team has made significant progress delivering on its commitments by remaining focused on the basics of banking,” Crosby said in the statement.

“I am confident that we can improve our business model and deliver a truly differentiated customer experience by leveraging the talent we have assembled and making the right investments in new talent, technology, products and services to drive value for all of our stakeholders.”

Prior to joining First Niagara, Crosby was a founding shareholder of ClientLogic Corp., where he was chief financial and chief operating officer. He also was a partner with venture capital firm Seed Capital Partners.

First Niagara Bank N.A. ranks fifth in the Rochester market with local deposits of nearly $1.3 billion, data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. shows.

(c) 2013 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email

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