First Niagara names Crosby to serve as president, CEO

BUFFALO – First Niagara Financial Group, Inc. announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Gary M. Crosby as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. He also joins the company’s Board. Crosby, 60, has served as First Niagara’s interim President and CEO since March 2013.

The company’s an-nouncement follows an extensive internal and external search, which the Board of Directors conducted in partnership with the firm of Korn/Ferry International, a leading national executive search firm with substantial financial services sector expertise.

“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 of the board G. Thomas Bowers said. “Following a comprehensive search for an executive with strong organizational and operational experience, who can extract value from the outstanding franchise we’ve assembled, we concluded Gary has the right combination of these attributes. As shareholders and directors, we believe First Niagara has opportunities as a leading independent banking organization to continue to drive operational excellence and organic growth in the communities we serve. The board unanimously agreed that Gary is the right individual to lead the company to leverage these opportunities and deliver long-term shareholder value.”

“The First Niagara team has made significant progress delivering on its commitments by remaining focused on the basics of banking and by continuing to enhance our ability to help our customers do great things every day,” Crosby said. “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.”

Crosby concluded, “First Niagara has and will continue to provide a workplace where talented employees build rewarding careers and we will remain a leading corporate citizen in the communities we serve. First Niagara has a strong team of seasoned bankers and financial services professionals and I am proud of all we have accomplished thus far. I am grateful for the opportunity to continue to lead an organization with such experienced, dedicated and talented professionals.”