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Daniel J. Burns

Rochester Regional President, M&T Bank

Years in current role: 16 as Regional President; 35 with M&T Bank

What do you enjoy most about your role?

At the risk of sounding cheesy, I can say with all sincerity that the best part of my job is driving around Rochester and seeing the ways our team uplifts our community. Just yesterday, I helped cut the ribbon on an affordable housing project for seniors. It’s projects like these that have me feeling eternally grateful for the impact our team is able to make. Whether we’re helping build more affordable housing, seeing a business start or grow, providing succession planning to a long-time local family business or supporting programing at one of our renowned arts and cultural centers, I’m proud we can be a source of strength and service for our neighbors. It is the reason our bank exists, and our team works so hard.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve dealt with over the past year?

As our community moves to fully reopen, many local business owners are seeing a surge in demand. But lingering side effects from the COVID-19 crisis are making it hard for some owners to fully recover. Staffing, supply chain, material costs, customer service, and cash flow are some of the current hurdles for many local businesses. With our economic recovery gaining momentum, we’re working hard to make sure no business and no community gets left behind.

What do you see as the biggest changes in the banking and finance industry in the next 3-5 years?

As we look to 2022 and beyond, we expect to continue our work internally to build capabilities — from the front line to the back office — that are driven by our customer’s perspectives and help make their lives easier. The recent success of programs like the Payment Protection Program shows what’s possible when we unlock the power of technology and stay laser focused on our customer needs. At the same time, we need to be equally as focused on helping our customers adopt new technologies and protect themselves from ongoing threats. Technology is changing businesses from the inside out, and no industry is an exception.

What is the No. 1 tip you would give to people or companies about planning their finances amid uncertain times?

While there is a lot of advice I want to share, I’d have to go with knowing the financial health of your company or personal finances. If you’re an entrepreneur or business owner, you should regularly perform sensitivity analyses to help you make more informed decisions about your organization’s direction and how resources are allocated. I’m also a big advocate for auto fund rebalancing. Similarly, if you’re a consumer, do the math. Truly understand your finances and set short- and long-term financial goals. It’s a vital practice to talk about with your local banker.

What community organizations do you support as a volunteer and why?

I strive to be intimately connected to our community and serve on several boards that make a big impact, including the YMCA of Greater Rochester and the Finger Lakes, Monroe Community College Foundation, University of Rochester Medical Center, St. John Fisher College, ROC 2025, Greater Rochester Enterprise, Rochester Chamber of Commerce and CMAC. The role we play, the work we do, it’s all part of our community banking culture at M&T.

This profile is part of Rochester Business Journal's Power 30 Banking & Finance list for 2021. Information used in this profile was sourced from the honoree. View the full list at https://rbj.net/2021/12/17/rbjs-power-30-banking-finance/.

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