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First Niagara names Saffire EVP of commercial financial services

By Maria Carbonaro

Date:

BUFFALO — First Niagara Financial Group (Nasdaq: FNFG) has appointed Joseph Saffire to serve as executive vice president (EVP) of commercial financial services.

Saffire brings more than two decades of commercial-banking experience to the regional bank holding company and its executive leadership team, First Niagara said in a news release. He spent the majority of his career with HSBC Bank, where Saffire held a variety of leadership positions. That included executive vice president and regional president of corporate and commercial banking, responsible for 16 Eastern and Midwestern states, covering all of the markets served by First Niagara.

While at HSBC, Saffire also served as chief operating officer and head of international corporate and commercial banking in Germany, where he drove strategic design and implementation. He joins First Niagara from Wells Fargo & Company in London, where he served as executive vice president and head of global banking for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

“Joe’s wealth of experience formulating and executing product development and growth strategies, leading multi-disciplined teams and serving sophisticated customers of larger banking platforms make him an exceptional addition to our team,” Gary M. Crosby, president and CEO of First Niagara, said in the release.

Saffire graduated from Boston College with a bachelor’s degree in finance and from University at Buffalo with an MBA in finance and international management.

First Niagara, through its wholly owned subsidiary, First Niagara Bank, N.A., is a multi-state, community-oriented bank with about 420 branches, $38 billion in assets, $27 billion in deposits, and about 5,800 employees providing financial services across New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.

The banking company ranked third in deposit market share in the Syracuse metro area, as of last June 30, according to FDIC data.

Contact Carbonaro at mcabonaro@cnybj.com

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