Page 1





Women in

Banking Finding Sustainable Solutions


Part 2








Customer Portfolio Management a Vital Component of Improved Customer Experiences


Maine Bank Launches First of Its Kind Wealth-Building Home Loan


Women in

12 16


Banking Finding Sustainable Solutions

Growth Comes from Focus on Details

Part 2


M&As Allow Opportunity to Create Strong Team Unity






COMMUNITY GOOD WORKS TWG STAFF CEO & PUBLISHER Timothy M. Warren Jr. PRESIDENT David B. Lovins EDITORIAL EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Cassidy Murphy ASSOCIATE EDITORS Joe Kourieh and Malea Ritz ©2016 The Warren Group Inc. All rights reserved. The Warren Group is a trademark of The Warren Group Inc. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means,



electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the publisher. Advertising, editorial and production inquiries should be directed to: The Warren Group, 280 Summer Street, Boston, MA 02210

Interested in receiving additional copies of Banking New England? Call 617-896-5357 or email



Customer Portfolio Management a Vital Component of Improved Customer Experiences Scott McClymonds, founder of CEO Velocity consulting, has helped dozens of banks significantly improve profits and efficiency, grow key business units and transform employee performance. He is an expert at integrating leadership, marketing strategy and technology to develop competitive advantages. Banking New England subscribers may reach Scott at scottm@ceovelocity. com, (479) 263-0774 or on LinkedIn at scottmcclymonds for a free one-hour strategic marketing consultation and assessment.

Scott McClymonds



his article is the first of several that tackle the vital topic of customer portfolio management (CPM). We will define what CPM is and outline its applicability to the C-suite, board and bank strategy. Learning to excel at CPM will dramatically improve the financial performance of your bank, and will also create superior customer experiences. If you have attended any bank conferences in the last few years, you know the cousin of customer portfolio management, also referred to as big data or analytics. CPM is anything but the standard version of analytics. Actually, I don’t even use the terms “big data” or “analytics” anymore. I cringe when I’m asked to speak on “big data.” Those are words used either to sell software or do tactical campaign management, and that’s not our goal.

your competitors. It is a commitment to deeply understand the very people you exist to serve, takes your team’s knowledge of your customers to a much higher level, and changes how you operate.

What Is Customer Portfolio Management?

For successful CPM I like to segment customers into four easy to understand profitability groups. I typically use the terms End Zone, Red Zone, Mass Market and Lower Tier to describe them. • End Zone is 10 percent of your customers and 90 percent of your profits. • Red Zone is another 10 percent of customers, but only 20 percent of profits. • Mass Market is about 30 percent of your customers and 5 percent of profits.

CPM breaks the entire customer base of your bank into critical, digestible parts so you can build appropriate strategies for each customer group. Just as your loan portfolio has different risks, maturities and ALM concerns, your customers have different attrition risks, profitability levels, revenue mixes, demographics, levels of financial health, preferences and life events. Customer portfolio management is the opposite of the mass-market approach taken by most of 4


Not Your Father’s Analytics

Typical analytics efforts generally focus on crossselling more products and meeting budget numbers. Usually the marketing department, digital banking and front-line business units are involved, but generally executive management is far removed from this process because of its tactical nature. In contrast, the CPM approach is strategic, far-reaching and longer-term. Its scope is the entire bank, so CEOs and their executive teams need to be deeply involved to formulate new strategies, invest in technology and train employees.

Customer Profitability Groups



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• Lower Tier is about 50 percent of your customers and takes away 25 percent of your profits. These four profit groups are fundamental building blocks of CPM, and provide a basic level of understanding around profitability. You wouldn’t dream of going to a board

meeting without knowing your financial numbers, and likewise you shouldn’t dream of going without being prepared to discuss these customer profit groups. Let me show you why having this discussion about customer profitability groups is so important. The Executive CPM Dashboard in Figure 1 is from a CPM system

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my team and I have constructed. You should be taking something like this to your board meetings. The bar chart in the top left shows the typical 90/10 split, meaning 90 percent of profits come from 10 percent of customers. The other metrics show numbers of households in each profit group, high- level reasons for profitability, cross-sell ratios and attrition risk. This particular information is at a high enough level for your board to understand and use to begin asking strategic questions and making meaningful decisions. Once they begin understanding the overwhelming impact of the top customers, they will start thinking differently about strategic resource allocations. We have just started our conversation on customer portfolio management, and will go into greater detail in the next article. This is a powerful strategy, and using it to create and manage your customer strategies will have a profound impact on your profitability and customer experience. BNE






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Maine Bank Launches First of Its Kind Wealth-Building Home Loan Androscoggin Bank’s 15-Year Loan Builds Equity Faster, Helps Prevent Default

BY PAUL ANDERSEN Paul Andersen is president and CEO of Lewiston, Maine-based Androscoggin Bank.

Paul Andersen


omeownership was supposed to be the path to real wealth-building in the United States. “The American Dream” became a nightmare during the housing crisis that hit its peak in 2010. Thirty-year loans with slow amortization and loose underwriting standards combined with high unemployment and over-extended consumers created the perfect storm for a housing market collapse. While our bank has always maintained strict lending standards and did not accept federal bailout funds, we still saw how devastating the housing crisis was for many of our own clients and for families across the nation. As the market began to recover, the mortgage team at Androscoggin Bank began discussing how financial institutions can change the way we sell mortgages to prevent similar problems in the future. We’re proud to be the first bank in the U.S. that brought an innovative mortgage to the market that helps homeowners build equity much faster than a traditional 30-year loan. It’s our strong belief that banking institutions should be responsive problem solvers.

The Story Behind the Wealth Builder Home Loan

In 2014, Joe Ferris, Androscoggin Bank’s mortgage manager, and Chris Logan, our chief lending officer, took note of an obscure article authored by Ed Pinto of the American Enterprise Institute. In it, Pinto argued that the traditional 30year loan is actually one of the reasons homeowners left their homes during the financial crisis. They had 8


little to no equity in their houses, giving them barely any reason to stay. Pinto’s strategy was a mortgage that allows homeowners to build equity faster – in the earliest years of the loan – which would solve these two problems. In essence, an innovative wealth-building mortgage could be a smart vehicle for preventing a repeat of the previous housing collapse. Over my more than 30 year banking career one consistent fact I have witnessed is when the borrower determines they do not have equity, default rates climb substantially.

Developing a Strategy

The main benefit of a traditional 30-year mortgage is a low monthly payment. Ferris focused on developing a 15-year loan that would feature a monthly payment almost as low as a 30-year loan. The key is faster amortization with a very low initial interest rate, resulting in monthly payments that are usually within a couple hundred dollars of a traditional 30-year loan. Androscoggin Bank’s Wealth Builder Home Loan allows homebuyers to build up equity and take more ownership of their homes earlier in the process – lowering their risk of contributing to or being vulnerable to a general housing crisis. Since the equity of the homeowner is built at a more rapid pace, the bank’s risks are lowered. The loan is essentially structured as two loans in one: a simple “two-step” rate, with a lower fixed rate for the first seven years and a higher fixed rate CONTINUED ON PAGE 10

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How Does That Help? Principal Balance $175,000 $150,000 $125,000

30-year Loan



$75,000 $50,000 $25,000 $0 0











Months Note: Assumes 4.00% interest rate for 30-year loan; interest rate for WBHL is 1.75% for first 7 years and 5.00% for remaining 8 years.

How quickly would I build equity?

Solving Bigger Problems


Equity on a $175,000 home at the end of years shown

FHA 30-Year

$35,000.00 $31,427.00 $30,000.00 $25,000.00 $20,768.00 $20,000.00 $15,000.00

$12,623.00 $10,293.00


$10,000.00 $6,196.00 $5,000.00 $Year One

Year two

Year three

Note: WBHL has an interest rate of 1.75% for first 7 years and 5.00% for remaining 8 years, no down payment, and 3 buy down points. FHA 30-year loan has a 4.00% interest rate, 3.50% down payment, and a 1.75% upfront mortgage insurance premium rolled into the loan amount, for an initial LTV of 98.19%. House price is assumed to remain unchanged.

How Much Interest is Saved? Total Interest Paid $140,000 $120,000 $100,000

30-year Loan

$80,000 $60,000 $40,000

WBHL $20,000 $0 0








Months Note. Initial loan amount of $175,000. Assumes 4.00% interest rate for 30-year loan; interest rate for WBHL is 1.75% for first 7 years and 5% for remaining 8 years. WBHL interest paid includes $5,250 paid upfront (3 buydown points).



for the remaining eight years. And even though there is a rise in the interest rate at the eight-year mark, this new interest rate only applies to the principle still owed, not the full original amount of the loan. The payment “shock” is, on average, around 13 percent, still significantly lower than a normal adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) rate shock. With no mortgage insurance (PMI), fewer restrictions than government-backed loans and availability to both first-time and repeat homebuyers of single-family homes, the Wealth Builder Home Loan is attractive to homebuyers throughout Maine. It is also available for homeowners with limited equity who want to refinance a single-family home. The product has proven to be a great source of new client acquisition. To date 75 percent of clients who obtained the Wealth Builder Home Loan have been new to Androscoggin Bank. By bringing in new clients, many of whom are in the Millennial generation, we have also seen an increase in new checking accounts. In the future we plan to use business intelligence to reach out to the client at various life cycles with other products and services, which may benefit them.



The loan isn’t just a tool for building wealth – it is also safer for both the homeowner and the bank. When clients are building equity faster their prosperity is truly fostered. They’ll also have the option of selling the home, even if property values decrease or they need to move for other reasons. That’s a smarter strategy for both our clients and the bank. More importantly, it solves real problems and concerns for our clients. With a 15-year Wealth Builder Home Loan, the homeowner sees, on average, an 80 percent loan-tovalue (LTV) ratio after just 40 months of payments. By comparison, a similarly low LTV ratio would take over nine years on a traditional 30-year mortgage. This means a family has the potential to upgrade into a better home, with more money to put down, while creating more demand for their current home among buyers who will have access to a better loan product with no down payment, no PMI and a 15-year term. We see this as a responsive tool that supports the entire residential economic cycle. Developing this loan product required us to really investigate a client problem and create a truly innovative solution. To us, innovation is about constantly looking at our processes, our products and our clients’ needs and asking: “How can we do things better?” Learn more about Androscoggin Bank’s innovative new Wealth Builder Home Loan at BNE



NEED HELP FINDING NEW PROSPECTS We Will Find Your New Clients Among The Many With The Warren Group’s Marketing Lists.

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Growth Comes from Focus on Details

Achim Griesel is president at Haberfeld Associates, a customer acquisition marketing and profitability consultant for community-based financial institutions. He can be reached at

Achim Greisel




any bankers believe their bank is uniquely positioned to serve the affluent customer, and that their service is second to none. But remember, your prospects haven’t experienced your service. And few community financial institutions can uniquely serve the affluent class better than regional and national banks. Real growth requires much more than the false perception that customers are privileged to bring their relationships to you. It takes many factors – like brand, product, policies, marketing, employees and execution. When you try to maintain growth of your customer base, focus is often mistakenly on only one factor. But each activity impacts expansion. Some are more important than others and real growth isn’t assured by any one of them. Real growth requires a coordinated system of activities – all connected to each other. I’ll illustrate this idea using the airline industry. All airlines have planes, pilots, flight attendants

and luggage handlers. All transport people and many fly the same routes. So why does Southwest Airlines have a much better reputation than other airlines? Are Southwest planes better or are their people more professional? No. What Southwest has is a much better activity system. In his Harvard Business Review article years ago, Michael Porter defined the activity set of Southwest Airlines. Little things competitors could not or wouldn’t copy were the difference. Its fleet uses only one type of plane, so maintenance is easier, faster and cheaper. The airline’s unique boarding system allows flights to turn around quicker. All its activity points – reliable and frequent departures, low ticket prices, high aircraft utilization – make Southwest Airlines more profitable than its competitors. CONTINUED ON PAGE 14

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“Bottom line – consider the little things that make growth happen. They are the important glue that hold your activity system together and make it successful.”

customer growth after a branch leadership change. • Same-market branches, using identical marketing and products, grow at dramatically different rates. The people component of your activity system probably has the most subcomponents that crucially help or hurt your organization’s growth. Especially in branches, the right people are extremely important. But if staffs are not well trained, branches may not achieve their growth goals.

Right Place, Right Time Let’s take this idea to community banking. Like airlines, financial institutions are all relatively the same. All have checking and savings accounts and all use banking systems recognizable from one FI to another. So how can your activity system give your financial institution an edge over competitors?

Your People Are Key

Engage your staff, train them and allow them to have fun. While working with several hundred community-based FIs, I’ve seen what a difference the right branch personnel can make. • Without changes to marketing or products, it’s common to see dramatic

It’s almost impossible for financial institutions to create the customer need to buy their products. With basic requirements for food and clothing, the need is already there. Bankers can’t create similar needs. However, we can identify people who are likely to need new core relationships or those seeking a new primary financial institution (PFI).

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Banking customers become better prospects for your institution when they go through life-changing events – when they move, get married or change jobs – but it’s difficult to be in front of them at the right time. You can purchase highly-targeted contact lists for these events, but once prospects are on a list it’s usually too late. An even larger prospect group consists of individuals who are dissatisfied with their current PFI. Yet how can you find those prospects who would consider your financial institution convenient? The simple answer: Find the right type of data. Begin by modeling your current customers as a starting point for your branch-convenience footprint. If the prospect group is too large, fine-tune by adding characteristics of current customers to the targeting model. Most currentcustomer attributes are more reliable than purchased demographics. Add more (big) data to enhance your best-prospect model. Suppose you could determine which of your branches is convenient for prospects by overlaying their cell phone usage and GPS data? With the prevalence of mobile devises, this has become a very predictive indicator and a great real-world example of big data applications. Lastly, don’t wait until after the prospect’s life event has happened. Limit your prospect audience by fine-tuning the model while you increase your contacts with these quality prospects. Then you’re likely in front of them prior to a trigger event that prompts them to seek a new primary financial institution.

Free money. First-come, first served. Really. For a limited time, we’re offering members zero-percent Classic Advances to create or preserve jobs in their communities. Our new program, Jobs for New England, will award up to $5 million in interest-rate subsidies every year through 2018. A maximum of $250,000 in subsidy is available per member each year. At current rates, $250,000 can leverage up to $30 million in one-year advances. To find out more about Jobs for New England, contact Fatima Razzaq at 617-425-9564, or But don’t delay. These funds won’t last forever.

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FHLBBoston Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston • 800 Boylston Street Boston, MA 02199 •

No Silver Bullet

For core customer acquisition we seek the single product that answers our growth goals. There isn’t one. While your product is important, it’s only a single component of your entire activity system. With product, you must consider characteristics like simplicity, customer advantages, ease of sale, profitability and many others. Ignore any of these factors and growth becomes more difficult or even impossible. A good product may have a variety of different looks if it follows the activity system components outlined above. Bottom line – consider the little things that make growth happen. They are the important glue that hold your activity system together and make it successful. BNE BANKING NEW ENGLAND



M&As Allow Opportunity to Create Strong Team Unity BY NETTIE NITZBERG Nettie Nitzberg is founder and principal of Boston-based West5 Consulting (, which focuses on solving people problems that impact business success. She can be reached at

Nettie Nitzberg


oming off a record year for mergers and acquisitions, an overwhelming majority of executives at U.S. corporations and private equity firms forecast that deal activity will stay strong or even ramp up this year. And this is certainly true with banks of all sizes, as well as other financial institutions. To ensure the success of these new organizations, the team members of both companies need to work well together. The only way team members will be enthusiastic about collaborating is to openly talk through their cultural differences, as well as their respective organizations’ values and beliefs. This will not be an easy conversation, nor a short one, given the number of differences standing in the way. How can organizations best handle these issues? Let’s start with the rumor mill. The prospect of a merger or acquisition automatically stirs fears among employees on both sides of the consolidation. Both companies need to think about messages that address and allay those fears, while acting in a manner that is as proactive and transparent as possible. Some strategies to achieve this while communicating with employees include holding town hall meetings, video conferences or HR roundtables to address questions. Additionally, distributing communications that keep employees up to date regarding what is transpiring and dates 16 BANKING NEW ENGLAND

that things are happening will go a long way toward alleviating some of the fears and anxieties of not knowing while the merger or acquisition is taking place. Once the transaction is a done deal, other concerns and issues might come to light. The Harvard Business Review article, “Three Answers Every Employee Needs,” provides some advice from Betty Jane Hess, the former head of Arrow’s acquisition integration team. “When we make an acquisition,” she said, “every employee has just three questions: 1) Do I have a job? 2) Who do I report to? and 3) How will I get paid? Until they get answers, nothing else matters.”

Charters For Newly Formed Teams

In light of this advice, it is imperative that communication and messaging not stop once the transaction is complete. In fact, it should now be even greater and more focused. Company leaders and managers, as well as HR representatives, need to make the time to talk with the individual employees the merger/acquisition has affected the most. Again, they should focus on being consistent, being proactive and being transparent. One of the biggest challenges in a merger or acquisition is for managers and team members of teams that have been pulled apart, reassigned, merged or disbanded. In situations like this, it is inevitable that the “new” team is really coming

together as a group of individuals – not a team. People are often fearful, angry, frustrated and confused. The manager or leader must embrace the task put in front of them: to bring these individuals together and form a team. It’s not unusual in this situation that conversations that were at first respectful quickly devolve into uncomfortable exchanges that reflect mounting frustrations and distrust. Cultures are colliding and people are confused – trust is not the foundation of the team. At this point, the manager of the team may want to create a team charter to help guide the transition. A team charter acts as roadmap by which team members can see where they’re headed and how they want to get there by defining the purpose of the team, how it will work and the expected outcomes. It can be a great way to integrate two separate teams or a group of individuals into one cohesive unit, all focused in the same direction. The process for creating the charter will help to answer questions that result from a merger/acquisition and will begin to build trust among the team members, ultimately alleviating many of the questions and concerns that arise when two organizations merge. The precise format of team charters varies from situation to situation and from team to team. And while the actual charter can take on many forms, much of the value of the charter comes from thinking through, discussing and agreeing on the various elements, as a team. When developing the charter, the team leader should help the team focus on moving in the same direction. He or she should plan time over several days to discuss and work on the components. The team leader should help the group understand what’s really behind their differences and use the charter to pave the way for the team to create its own path and direction that blends the best of both cultures and organizations, and brings a group of individuals together as a team. The environments of organizations after a merger or acquisition can be rather unsettling. But through clear communication and straightforward effort to help employees understand what’s going on and how they can work with one another, the newly formed organization can be positioned to be much more than the sum of its parts. BNE

The best things in life are free. Especially money. We’re offering members zero-percent Classic Advances, on a first-come, first-served basis, to create or preserve jobs in their communities. Our new program, Jobs for New England, will award up to $5 million in interest-rate subsidies every year through 2018. A maximum of $250,000 in subsidy is available per member each year. At current rates, $250,000 can leverage up to $30 million in one-year advances. To find out more about Jobs for New England, contact Fatima Razzaq at 617-425-9564, or But don’t delay. These funds won’t last forever.

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Women in

Banking Finding Sustainable Solutions

By (Dima) Neil Berdiev Editor’s Note: This is the second of a two-part article; the first article was in the previous issue of Banking New England.


hy is the banking industry finding it so difficult to achieve gender equality at the senior levels? Are banks at risk of losing entire generations of women to other sectors? This conclusion to a two-part series explores the issues, challenges and opportunities commercial banks face in their mission to make the industry more appealing to people of all backgrounds, including women.

Key Opportunities to Making Diversity Happen Data: A Critical First Step A critical starting point is to capture, retrieve and track data that allow you to understand where your organization stands on female diversity and how they compare to the industry’s leaders. The same data will help you gauge and guide your firm’s diversity efforts. Here are some of the most essential areas to analyze: • Number of men and women in your organization, including grouping by age, experience, education, corporate and functional title, pay grade, salary and bonus, department or di-vision, region and hub, employment dates (starting and ending), specific position dates (starting and ending) and tenure. • Changes in the above data sets from period to period (annual, quarterly or monthly). • Comparison of your organization’s data to those presented in this article and other industry and national statistics. • Analysis of the trends and their true causes. Look for real causes rather than excuses, and analyze progress and trends in response to policy and strategy changes. Is your firm moving in the desired direction? Why or why not?


Part 2

Voluntarily share this data with your employees, customers, other stakeholders and the market. Be inspired by the example of the large tech companies that released their diversity data in 2014. While your findings may not be flattering (yet), sharing them will show that your organization is committed to diversity and being honest about the opportunities that lie ahead. It will also be a considerable, self-imposed incentive for your organization to improve, as well as an inspiration to your clients, employees, competitors and communities.

Listen and Learn Few people, especially men, truly understand what it means to be a woman in the corporate world. Your first order should be to have all your employees, especially your management teams, learn about the challenges and experiences that result from unequal treatment and double standards. Have your executive teams listen to the stories of women, including those in your organization. This very humbling experience will set your executives ablaze to change the current state of the world. From there you can start building momentum to develop and grow more women in your organization. Experts in the field cite this as a primary step in the effort to build female diversity.

Eradicate Stereotypes Stereotypes, prejudice and double standards are some of the most powerful enemies of female diversity at the core of our cultural problems. Your organization will need to tackle these issues very early in the process. During training sessions on the dangers of stereotyping, start by openly discussing them. This approach will allow male and female colleagues to connect better and talk openly about the negative conversations that happen behind the scenes and in people’s minds. You should also support these sessions with research on how stereotypes can prevent teams from reaching their best performance levels1 and poison the work environment for many colleagues. Many organizations have subcultures tied to certain jobs or teams. Female-averse behaviors may be so ingrained – think “all-boys club” – that a cultural change of bringing more women into those groups will be challenging. There may be unspoken rules and attitudes that, while only implied, may nevertheless guide behaviors, business decisions and actions. Open discussion and diversity educa¬tion form a starting point for changing minds, hearts and cultures. Yet, if these negative attitudes persist, your organization must be prepared to address them quickly, effectively and sometimes harshly, and that includes dealing with the indi¬viduals who perpetuate them. Otherwise, they will undermine your organization’s efforts to increase female diversity.

Set Quantifiable Goals Women do not want freebies or unfair advantages. But the solution should not be a “may the strongest and best woman prevail” boot camp to see which ones will survive the toughest conditions that men themselves CONTINUED ON PAGE 20




FIGURE 1 Decision to have a child. Questions about whether to continue a career and how to do it.

Pregnancy. Numerous medical appointment. Numerous life adjustments.

Child birth and maternity leave. Need to focus on family 150%.

Return to work. Develop new routines to balance family and work. Various physiological adjustments.

Preparation for team members to back up in the absence and share responsibilities until after maternity leave. Increase in remote work. Greater team member independence.

Team’s ability to work autonomously and provide complete coverage. Plan to be ready for the return and gradual reintegration.

Transfer of responsibilities. Establishing new routines. Offering new mothers facilities (e.g. nursing room) and support to get fully reintegrated.

Family Milestones Corporate Adaptability

Benefits that support working parents. Availability of information. Invitation for a confidential conversation with HR about career opportunities.

do not face. Bringing more women into banking at all levels is not about lowering the selection standards. All that needs to happen is for women to get a fair chance at opportunities and in an environment that fosters gender equality. While not everyone may agree on the need to set specific thresholds for women in banking (out of fear that some companies may start lowering the bar just to promote women), we need specific and far-reaching – although still realistic – targets for increasing the number of women. Some may call them 20 BANKING NEW ENGLAND

quotas, which is not the correct term to use as it suggests an unfair advantage. However, quantitative goals are something our analytical industry will be able to appreciate and aim to achieve. It is the outcome that is relatively easy to measure and work toward. The goal of 51 percent of women at all levels, to reflect the distribution of the population, is not unreasonable, nor is it unrealistic.

Mentoring and Executive Sponsorship The cornerstone of any female diversity effort is a strong mentoring network. Yet

this mentoring network is nothing without executive sponsorship. The role of executive sponsors is not only to mentor high-potential, rising talent but also to help ensure that their names make it to the list of potential candidates and receive proper consideration. Again, this does not imply settling on a lower-quality candidate just to meet diversity targets. The executive sponsor’s role, among others, is to be a zealous proponent and supporter of diversity who would expect and demand that her or his leadership teams and colleagues consider just as many female candidates as there are male.

Balancing Work and Family To be successful in attracting female talent, commercial banks need to create an environment in which women can successfully balance work and family. Flexible work arrangements are an important part of retaining talent, and your organization needs to figure out how to work with some of the most critical issues that someone who is both a mother and a successful businessperson will be dealing with. Critical points tend to be the decision to have a child, the term of the pregnancy, maternity leave, adjustments required during the child’s first three years, childhood illnesses, a daycare solution and, later on, schoolrelated milestones (this is a general, high-level depiction that not every woman may agree with). These milestones require certain steps at the corporate level to help a woman balance her job and family. Spousal support is part of the recipe for success, and your organization’s flexibility has to extend to spouses as well. Figure 1 illustrates how a bank can approach the challenge of retaining female talent when women decide to have children. Similar thinking should be applied when a woman decides to take care of her aging parent(s) or an ailing family member, as in an example of Christi Shaw, the company’s U.S. country head and president at Novartis (Fortune. com, 5/31/16). While outside of commercial banking, this example shows how women are traditional caretakers for family members and it is critical to provide frameworks to support them through career- and life-changing experiences, as well as to help these talented employees reintegrate back. If a woman decides not to return to her role in the organization, perhaps there is another opportunity that will work for her circumstances. A company must be equipped to have these conversations, and women need to have trust in the HR department in order to ensure employee commitment and protect the organization from lawsuits. Some female bankers have commented that they can’t trust their HR department. One referred to her HR colleagues as “MPG,” or the Management Protection Group. “Anything I do will be reported to my bosses; there is no confidentiality or privacy,” she said. If considering outsourcing these consultative conversations to a third-party service, don’t forget that employees can’t plan and manage

their careers outside of the organization. You have to be an equal party to these conversations and planning. Don’t rush to judge if a woman decides to stay at home to provide child care or care for her aging parents. At times, the decision is based on emotional, financial or other factors. Your value-added role is to help your employee evaluate all possible options by putting your business and human hats on. This is your chance to shine and think outside the box. People’s personal situations and career priorities change. If you handle your female colleague’s situation in an exemplary manner, you can create trust, commitment and loyalty. If the female employee’s circumstances change, your organization will be at the top of her list. What’s more important, personal circumstances often lead women to develop leadership skills (such as delegating) and become better managers simply because there is no other option. A female respondent to American Banker Magazine’s 2014 annual survey of women noted: “Time-management effectiveness increased dramatically after I had a child.” Another woman said: “I work harder

and more efficiently as I have two jobs. No room for slippage at either.”2 And as Charlotte McLaughlin, president and CEO of PNC Capital Markets Inc., put it: “… I developed a lot of leadership skills from that inflection point,” referring to changes in her management style when she wanted to prioritize spending quality time with her children. This mother of three eliminated inconsequential meetings, began to delegate more and made her time at the office more productive.3

Build a Talent Pipeline Development of a strong talent pipeline takes place at all levels through a solid understanding of various data – including upcoming promotion and growth opportunities, tenures with the organization and in specific roles, attrition and employees’ views on how well an organization is developing its talent. These data should contain a breakdown between men and women so that trends can be followed and changes made, if needed. CONTINUED ON PAGE 22

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FIGURE 2 Board of Directors and Executive Management’s leadership for female diversity Data Analysis, Tracking, and Reporting Listen and Learn Stereotypes – Educate and Eradicate Set Specific Female Diversity Goals Mentoring + Executive Sponsorship Flexibility and Support of Parenting Talent Pipeline Development at All Levels Attracting, Recruiting, Developing, & Retaining New Generations Business Lines Taking the Lead Colleague and Management’s commitment to female diversity When using executive search firms, it is your organization’s responsibility to communicate to them the desire to see an equal number of female and male candidates. The same message should be ingrained in all teams that are in the market for new employees. It is easy to track and analyze the trends of teams, divisions and lines of business for a number of female candidates, hires, cur¬rent employees and attrition compared to the total number of colleagues. You may uncover some ugly trends for some teams, but it is a necessary part of the change process. In addition, if you’ve had challenges in sourcing female candidates, you may need to look at your current sources and switch to those that can generate a different pipeline of candidates. A good way to identify sources of female candidates is to look at the number of recent women hires and determine if they come from sources you have not explored previously.

Take the Lead

New Generations

An Enterprise-Wide Priority

Sustainable equal opportunities for women cannot happen without banking’s ability to attract rising female professionals. Research shows that younger generations are not excited about banking in general, and that includes commercial banking. Part of the problem is that they do not understand the business of commercial banking. Another issue is the appeal of other industries such as tech, biotech and pharma; the Millennial generation places value on learning opportunities, compensation and benefits, physical workspace features, the ability to have a seat at the table and a voice from day one, a focus on the environment, use of technology and the opportunity to help shape the future. Lastly, banking’s reputation was tarnished during the last downturn, even though commercial banking was not the key reason for the economic collapse.

A female executive who opted to stay anonymous said, “If you want to get a job done, give it to a woman with [young] kids. She is efficient. She is focused. She does not have time to waste. She will make it happen.” For those of us with young children and wives juggling their demanding careers, we’ve witnessed the no-nonsense approach to getting the job done and staying laser focused in order to have successful professional and personal lives. Research conducted by Credit Suisse, DDI/The Conference Board, Catalyst and others shows that companies with the highest financial performance have the greatest number of female executives in front-line, strategic roles. Credit Suisse compared companies where women make up less than 5 percent of the top operational jobs to those where more than 10 percent of these key positions are held by women. It found a 27 percent higher return on equity and a 42 percent


In the past, the driver of female diversity has consistently been the areas of human resources and talent development. However, it is time for the lines of business, including commercial lending and treasury/ cash management, to take the lead or at least become an equal partner. The challenge of female diversity and the talent pipeline goes far beyond HR. In addition, your HR colleagues, despite their best intentions, usually do not have the budgets and sufficient executive support to make a meaningful contribution to female diversity without the equal participation of business lines. Given that successful talent development needs to happen at each critical juncture of attracting, recruiting, training, developing and retaining colleagues, collaboration across groups is the most appropriate starting point. Unlike the prevailing opinions, the phases shown in Figure 2 should not be fully outsourced to HR.

higher ratio of dividend payouts for those with greater gender diversity. Meanwhile, DDI’s study concluded that at the companies in the top 20 percent for financial performance, 27 percent of the leaders are women. Among the bottom 20 percent of financial performers, only 19 percent of leaders are women. A PwC 2013 report on gender diversity found that “although gender diversity has come far when compared with past decades, the progress made in the last several years has been painfully slow.”4 Let’s hope that the industry as a whole sees the value and importance of making improvements. What’s been missing so far is a clear strategy, a plan and then a relentless implementation similar to how we would approach any other high-priority, enterprise-critical situation. It is also important to accept that women and men may have distinct work and management styles. Women (on average) tend to be more collaborative, are better listeners, build better relationships, conduct a well-thoughtout analysis of a business situation and handle crisis and changemanagement better. Men (on average) tend to be more accepting of female leaders; more direct, confident and assertive; act on limited information; need less positive reinforcement and are competitive and persistent. Instead of imposing expectations for managers based on stereotypical male behaviors and values, it is vital for banks to respect both genders’ styles and tap into the strengths each group has to offer.






Here is how the women and men interviewed for this article characterize their commercial banks’ efforts at diversity: not much effort, façade, token attempts, inconsistent, lacking results, desperate attempts, little vision or strategy, lack of follow-up, PC conversations that are just conversations, lacking top support, lacking fellow colleagues’ understanding for why it is needed and not driving toward specific results. It is time to move beyond the conversations and meager results to creating a real, lasting and sustainable impact. The push needs to begin with the present executives, many of whom will be retiring in the next 10 years. What kind of legacy do they want to leave behind? Do they want to be remembered for knowing about the problems but choosing not to do what’s needed? If the previous generations had the excuse of lacking awareness, we do not. We know it is a problem. We know we need to change. We know that our success in developing future generations of bankers depends on it. The legacy opportunity is sufficient in itself to spur us into action. Younger people often note that the banking industry is too conservative, too slow to change, not accepting of new ideas, too hierarchical and unwilling to embrace the views of diverse teams. These challenges go to the core of why there is a lack of female diversity at all levels. This is why the industry finds itself failing to attract young people, losing ground to fintech, hedge funds and alternative service providers, falling behind on talent development, and unprepared to tackle the generational turnover. These and other challenges threaten to break the back of the commercial banking industry and put current banks out of business. And they are happening because we are afraid to take action, lead

Training & Developing with ideas, and change things quickly, decisively and effectively, as current market conditions warrant. A great way to begin is by asking how we can make it happen. Instead of dissecting challenges and finding excuses, it is time to change, to stop being afraid to act and to start leading. This article first appeared in the June 2016 issue of The RMA Journal; it is reprinted here with permission and several minor modifications. BNE (Dima) Neil Berdiev is managing partner and cofounder of DNB Advisory LLC, a Boston-based advisory firm. He is a career commercial banker gone entrepreneur, a credit guy with passion for sales and team development. He may be reached at or at (617)233-1405.

References 1. For more on gender stereotyping, see Shelley J. Correll, Stephen Benard and In Paik, “Is There a Motherhood Penalty?” American Journal of Sociology, vol. 112, no. 5, March 2007. 2. See “A Question of Gender,” American Banker Magazine, vol. 124, no. 9, October 2014. 3. See “Stepping Back to Get Ahead,” American Banker Magazine, vol. 123, no. 10, October 2013. 4. See “Mending the Gender Gap: Advancing Tomorrow’s Women Leaders in Financial Services,” a report by PwC, May 2013.




Career achievers in banks across New England are constantly on the move, with their professional journeys reflecting a combination of mobility and longstanding service. In this space, we acknowledge them, and welcome readers to submit news of their own banks’ efforts and endeavors to Editorial Director Cassidy Murphy at

Featured Banks • BankNewport • Bay State Savings Bank • Blue Hills Bank • Commerce Bank • Claremont Savings Bank • Franklin Savings Bank • Lee Bank • Meredith Village Savings Bank • Middlesex Savings Bank • Savings Bank of Walpole • South Shore Bank • StonehamBank • Webster Five

Appointments and Elections BankNewport BankNewport recently appointed Victor Correia to vice president and branch manager of the bank’s Warren office. Correia Victor Correia joined BankNewport in 2015 and most recently served as assistant vice president and manager at the same branch location. In this position, he will be responsible for branch operations, business development and staff development. Correia is a member of the East Bay Chamber of Commerce.

Commerce Bank

Lee Bank of Lee, Massachusetts recently announced that Marianne Fresia has been appointed assistant vice president of Marianne Fresia private banking and trust services. In this new position, Fresia will focus on attracting, growing and retaining clients, in addition to serving as liaison to October Mountain Financial Advisors’ team for clients interested in wealth management. Fresia joins Lee Bank after serving for six years as a financial trust administrator at Berkshire Bank Wealth Management.

Middlesex Savings Bank

Commerce Bank recently announced that Nathan E. Pusey, managing director and Boston market leader, has been elected to a Nathan E. Pusey four-year term on the board of directors of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. Pusey has more than 25 years of commercial banking experience in Boston and also serves as the chairman of the board of the Center for Collaborative Leadership at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Additionally, he is a director of the Citi Performing Arts Center, the Boston Police Athletic/Activities League and the Baystate Financial Charitable Foundation.

Natick, Massachusettsbased Middlesex Savings Bank has named Sean F. Burke as its new chief technology officer. Burke Sean F. Burke joined the bank in 1997 has more than 35 years of experience in technical operations, security and information strategies in the banking and financial industry. During his career, he has helped build, manage and improve operations and service delivery across all IT operations, data centers and branch network. Burke has also served on numerous strategic planning committees within Middlesex.

Claremont Savings Bank

Savings Bank of Walpole

Claremont, New Hampshire-based Claremont Savings Bank has appointed Reginald E. Greene president Reginald E. Greene and CEO. Greene previously served as executive vice president and director of lending and credit for Ledyard National Bank. Prior to that, he served in positions at Merchants Bank and Chittenden Bank.


Lee Bank

The Savings Bank of Walpole recently announced that president and CEO Gregg Tewksbury was elected Gregg Tewksbury chairman of the New Hampshire Bankers Association’s 2016 to 2017 board of directors. Tewksbury previously served as the vice chairman on the board.

Promotions Bay State Savings Bank

Gerald Plange

Bay State Savings Bank recently announced that Gerald Plange has been promoted to senior consumer lending officer for the Worcester-based bank. Plange has over 25 years of experience in finance and has been with Bay State Savings Bank since 1996. Plange most recently served as retail loan underwriter.

Blue Hills Bank

Blue Hills Bank recently promoted Valerie Rolli to assistant vice president and branch manager of the bank’s Norwood, Massachusetts branch. Rolli most recently served as assistant branch manager of the bank’s Westwood branch. Rolli played a key role in opening the Westwood branch in Valerie Rolli 2015 and previously served as the assistant branch manager of Citizens Bank in Foxboro. The bank also promoted Adriana Colon, who previously served as assistant branch manager of its branch headquarters in Hyde Park, to assistant vice president and branch manager of its Dedham branch. Colon began her career in banking as a personal banker at Bank of America. Prior to joining Blue Hills, she was an assistant branch manager at Citizens Bank in Roslindale.

Franklin Savings Bank

Franklin Savings Bank has promoted Rachel Marland to assistant branch manager of the bank’s Laconia, New Hampshire office. In her new role, Marland will focus on coaching and supporting the bank’s sales, service and operational initiatives. She joined Franklin Savings Bank in 2015 as a senior Rachel Marland personal banker and has previously held positions with Santander Bank, TD Bank and Mercantile Bank.

Meredith Village Savings Bank

Meredith Village Savings Bank recently promoted Nancy Mardin to assistant vice president, branch and business development manager. In this new position, Mardin will oversee the bank’s Plymouth Main Street and Plymouth Hannaford offices in New Hampshire. Mardin brings over 43 Nancy Mardin years of experience in community banking to the role. She joined Meredith Village Savings Bank in 2004.

Merrimack County Savings Bank

Sean Skabo

New Hampshire-based Merrimack County Savings Bank has promoted Sean Skabo has been promoted to assistant vice president of cash management and business lending. In this position, Skabo will oversee small- and medium-sized business loans and lines of credit.

Webster Five

Melissa Baar was recently promoted to assistant vice president at Webster Five Cents Savings Bank, having previously served as collections manager for the past year. Baar started with the Auburn, Massachusetts-based Webster Five in 2014, with her responsibilities including Melissa Baar managing the collection of delinquent installment loans and mortgage loans, representing the bank at foreclosures and providing guidance to the collections staff. Baar has over 13 years of experience in collections within the banking industry and worked as a loan counseling assistant and a high end collections specialist prior to joining Webster Five.

New Arrivals Blue Hills Bank

Lesley Santini Ryan has recently joined Blue Hills Bank to lead the bank’s newest loan office in Winchester, Massachusetts as vice president and senior loan officer. Ryan previously worked at Winchester Savings Bank. In her new role, she will work to establish the Winchester office Lesley Santini Ryan and introduce the bank’s loan products to the Winchester market.

New Hampshire, while Lester will assume the role of assistant branch manager of the bank’s second Franklin office. Wyman has previously held positions with Merrimack County Savings Bank and TD Bank. Lester has held positions at Northeast Communications, Great Eastern Radio and Bank of America.

Savings Bank of Walpole

Emily Porschitz and Nathalie Houder recently joined Savings Bank of Walpole as corporators of the bank, which has branches in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Porschitz is an associate professor in the department of management at

Franklin Savings Bank

Franklin Savings Bank recently hired Amy Wyman and Jeanne Lester to positions within the bank’s retail division. Wyman will serve as branch manager of the bank’s main office in downtown Franklin,

Emily Porschitz





Career achievers in banks across New England are constantly on the move, with their professional journeys reflecting a combination of mobility and longstanding service. In this space, we acknowledge them, and welcome readers to submit news of their own banks’ efforts and endeavors to Editorial Director Cassidy Murphy at

New Arrivals Keene State College and a partner in LaunchingU, a career coaching business designed to help college students and young professionals. Houder is the finance director for AutoEurope, a car rental service company based in Maine with additional locations in Germany and Australia. She is currently leads corporate financial planning and analysis, financial reporting and treasury.

South Shore Bank

Daniel Picha recently joined South Shore Bank of South Weymouth, Massachusetts as vice president and director of commercial services. In this position, he will provide Daniel Picha commercial services and cash management products to the bank’s customers, including condominium associations, property management organizations and municipalities. Picha has almost 20 years of retail and business banking

experience, having most recently served as first vice president and director of community association banking and business services at Rockland Trust Co.


Massachusetts-based StonehamBank has announced that Andy Kristen has joined its team as a mortgage originator. In this role, Kristen will perform a wide range of mortgage Andy Kristen origination and business development functions to achieve residential sales goals and build strong customer relationships. Kristen brings over 20 years of client relations and industry experience to the position, working most recently as senior loan officer at Meetinghouse Bank. Prior to that, he worked in lending for Princeton Capital, North Coast Mortgage and National City Mortgage. BNE

Operation Welcome Home Operation Welcome Home is a powerful new mortgage product created by MassHousing for Veterans and members of the armed services who are first time homebuyers. For product details and to watch the Operation Welcome Home launch with Governor Baker, please visit Mission. Value. Service. 26 BANKING NEW ENGLAND




BankNewport Announces Record Growth BankNewport announced record results for 2015 at the annual meeting of OceanPoint Financial Partners, the mutual holding company of BankNewport and OceanPoint Insurance Agency Inc. According to the report, the bank’s total assets increased to $1.378 billion, a new high. Since 2011, the bank has added $280 million in assets, and its net income has almost doubled to $9.9 million. The report also stated that its return on capital increased to 7.25 percent, while the lending team generated almost $400 million in new loans, growing the portfolio to $1.09 billion. Additionally, deposits grew by $57 million to $1.07 billion, bringing the bank up by 7,000 new deposit accounts.

ABA: Consumer Delinquencies Fall In Q1 Delinquencies fell in seven of 11 consumer loan categories in this year’s first quarter, according to the American Bankers Association’s latest Consumer Credit Delinquency Bulletin, released today. The composite ratio, which tracks delinquencies in eight closed-end installment loan categories, fell 3 basis points to 1.38 percent of all accounts. The ABA said this continues a three-year trend of remaining well below the 15-year average of 2.23 percent. A delinquency here is defined as a late payment that is 30 days or more overdue. The ABA attributed the trend to consumers managing their finances more responsibly, in part due to steadily improving conditions for those consumers. Home-related delinquencies fell in two out of three categories. Home equity line delinquencies fell 3 basis points to 1.15 percent of all accounts, while home equity loan delinquencies rose 6 basis points to 2.74 percent of all accounts after falling 23 basis points in the previous quarter. The ABA said that the first quarter was the first time since 2008 that both home equity loan and line delinquencies are at or below their 15-year averages. Property improvement loan delinquencies fell 3 basis points to 0.89 percent of all accounts. Bank card delinquencies fell five basis points to 2.47 percent of all accounts, remaining well below their 15-year average of 3.71 percent.

Northern Bank Ranked Top Performing Community Bank Among Peers Nationwide Northern Bank & Trust Co. has topped the S&P Global Market Intelligence list of best-performing banks in the $1 billion to $10 billion asset category nationwide. Woburn, Massachusetts-based Northern Bank takes the top spot after five consecutive years of being ranked on the industry list of top performers.

The ranking takes into consideration commercial banks with 60 or fewer offices and loan portfolios accounting for more than one-third of total assets. To be eligible for ranking, a bank’s loan portfolio must consist of less than 50 percent credit card loans and no more than half of its revenue may be from nontraditional banking activities. Banks whose parent companies had more than $1 billion in assets were excluded from the ranking. Northern Bank ended 2015 with $1.41 billion in assets, with a portfolio growth of 6.43 percent. The bank currently manages 13 offices throughout Middlesex County.

30 US Bank Holding Companies Pass Fed’s Latest Stress Test The capital plans of 30 of the largest bank holding companies in the U.S. recently passed muster in the Federal Reserve in its latest round of stress testing, but the U.S. arms of two international banks proved repeat offenders. “Over the six years in which [Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review] has been in place, the participating firms have strengthened their capital positions and improved their risk-management capacities,” Governor Daniel K. Tarullo said in a statement announcing the results. “Continued progress in both areas will further enhance the resiliency of the nation’s largest banks.” But Cornelius K. Hurley, director of Boston University’s Center for Finance, Law & Policy, said the tests also reflect a shift in the Fed’s own role, from supervisor of banks to custodian of banks. “When you’re a supervisor, you can call banks out for deficiencies. When you’re their custodian, you’re equally responsible for their deficiencies. And when you call them out, you’re also calling yourself out, saying that you as a custodian fell down on the job,” he said. “Put another way, if one of these banks was deficient, materially deficient, one would have expected to have been brought to the public’s attention way before these annual stress tests. This is just an update on the whole class.” In faulting the capital plans of the U.S. arms of Deutsche Bank Trust Corp. and Santander, the Fed cited “broad and substantial weaknesses across their capital planning processes, and insufficient progress these firms have made toward correcting those weaknesses and meeting supervisory expectations.” Consequently, those bank holding companies will not be able to pay dividends back to their parent companies overseas until they address those deficiencies. This is the third year Santander’s U.S. bank has failed the Fed’s test of its capital plan and the second year that Deutsche Bank has failed. BNE BANKING NEW ENGLAND



Financial institutions large and small have been making a difference in their communities for years. In this space, we acknowledge them, and welcome readers to submit news of their own banks’ efforts and endeavors to Editorial Director Cassidy Murphy at

Featured Banks • BankNewport • Commerce Bank • Franklin Savings Bank


BankNewport distributed a $5,000 grant to the Island Moving Company to help fund a new math-based creative movement curriculum at Pell Elementary School in Newport, Rhode Island.

Franklin Savings Bank Franklin Savings Bank (FSB) announced that it has awarded $21,000 in grants to seven community organizations through the FSB Fund for Community Advancement.

• Marlborough Savings Bank • Meredith Village Savings Bank

Marlborough Savings Bank

Commerce Bank

Commerce Bank donated $1,500 to the Massachusetts Audubon Society to support its 2016 Worcester, Massachusetts-based Neighborhood Nature program, which allows children and families to learn about the plants and animals that can be found in the area.

Lake Sunapee Bank Lake Sunapee Bank announced that it will participate in the Jobs for New England program through the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston. The program enables the bank to offer low interest loans to small business in order to stimulate the local economy.

Meredith Village Savings Bank

• Meredith Village Savings Bank • Merrimack County Savings Bank • MutualOne Bank • Needham Bank • Northern Bank & Trust Company • Optima Bank & Trust • The Village Bank • Webster Five

The Marlborough Savings Charitable Foundation awarded the Nixon Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization in Sudbury a $500 grant for cultural enrichment programs for their students.

Meredith Village Savings Bank

The Meredith Village Savings Bank Fund granted $10,000 to Ashland Elementary School in Ashland, New Hampshire for the purchase and installation of new playground equipment, which will replace an outdated playset that was in poor condition.

Merrimack County Savings Bank The Merrimack County Savings Bank Foundation recently awarded $49,000 in donations to 19 nonprofit organizations.

Middlesex Federal Savings

The Meredith Village Savings Fund granted $5,000 to the Skatepark of Plymouth, New Hampshire, a free recreational resource that is open to children of all ages.

In honor of its 125th anniversary, Middlesex Federal Savings is donating 125 books to the Somerville Public Library in Massachusetts.

MutualOne Bank The MutualOne Charitable Foundation announced that it awarded $6,500 to MetroWest Legal Services, an organization that provides legal counsel and advocacy to the poor, elderly, disabled and homeless. 28 BANKING NEW ENGLAND

The MutualOne Charitable Foundation has awarded $3,000 to the Golden Tones Chorus to fund the group’s concerts in senior health and housing facilities in Framingham and Natick, Massachusetts. The group is comprised of nearly 70 retirement-age singers and dancers.

MutualOne Bank

The MutualOne Charitable Foundation awarded $3,500 to Hoops and Homework Inc., which provides after-school tutoring and recreational activities to approximately 70 children living in low-income housing developments in Framingham, Massachusetts.

Needham Bank

Massachusetts-based Needham Bank has committed to being the lead sponsor of the Hale race series, a program that assists financially disadvantaged children attend summer camp.

Optima Bank & Trust

Northern Bank & Trust Co.

Optima Bank & Trust of Portsmouth, New Hampshire has donated $4,500 to Goodwin Community Health, which provides health care to disadvantaged individuals.

The Village Bank The Northern Bank & Trust Charitable Foundation has awarded $12,000 to Habitat for Humanity of Greater Lowell, Massachusetts to support two programs that provide safe and affordable housing for families in need.

The Village Bank donated $20,000 to Newton, Massachusetts’s Festival of the Arts, a city-wide showcase of music, art, film, theatre and performances by local nonprofit cultural and arts organizations and residents.

Webster Five

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Featured Banks • First County Bank • Merrimack County Savings Bank • Optima Bank & Trust

Merrimack County Savings Bank Senior Vice President Receives Award

• United Way

Optima Bank & Trust Expands to Downtown Portsmouth

Optima Bank & Trust recently announced it has expanded to downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The bank has leased space for its expansion at the ground floor at 143 Daniel St. “Our corporate headquarters and most of our operations will remain in our current location at Two Harbour Place, but our retail office will move across the street to 143 Daniel St. This will allow us to expand our capacity to grow and continue to hire more people here in Portsmouth,” Daniel Morrison, the bank’s chairman, president and CEO, said in a statement.

United Way Presents Commerce Bank with Stoddard Award

Claudia Walker, senior vice president, and commercial and construction loan officer at Merrimack County Savings Bank, received the Business Leader of the Year Award at the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce’s 11th Annual Pinnacle Awards Luncheon on June 2. “Claudia was one of the original co-chairs of the Rock n Race event planning committee in 2002 to benefit Concord Hospital’s Payson Center for Cancer Care. Now known as the Merrimack County Savings Bank Rock ‘N Race, the 5K has raised over $4 million and brings the community together each year to celebrate, honor and remember loved ones touched by cancer,” Philip Emma, president of Merrimack County Savings Bank, said in a statement. Walker serves as a member of Concord Hospital’s Board of Trustees, as well as the Concord Hospital Trust Board, of which she is now chair. She has also served several roles in numerous community organizations, including Concord’s Chamber of Commerce, Concord Coalition to End Homelessness, Economic Development Advisory Committee, Municipal Housing Commission and the Concord Planning Board. Walker has been with Merrimack since 1997.

First County Bank Hosts Ribbon-Cutting to Celebrate Branch Opening The United Way of Central Massachusetts presented Commerce Bank with the 2016 Stoddard Award at its Annual Business Meeting and Celebration on May 4. The Stoddard Award honors companies that provide exceptional leadership to United Way through employee fundraising, strong representation on community boards and volunteer efforts in the community. United Way Chairperson James Leary and President and CEO Timothy Garvin presented the award to Commerce Bank President and CEO Brian Thompson at the event, which was held at Mechanics Hall in Worcester. 30 BANKING NEW ENGLAND

First County Bank recently commemorated the opening of its new branch in Westport, Connecticut with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on June 14. The new branch is located at 1135 Post Road. BNE

With financial service pressures on the rise, gross profits diminishing, government regulations changing, and technology advancing rapidly, the demands on financial services are at an all time high. As each day passes, it becomes more difficult for you to stay on top of the day­to­day servicing of your clients. Therefore, it is imperative that you not only have strong IT management in place, but also have established and implemented effective internal controls and operational processes to avoid misappropriation of assets, avoid fraudulent financial reporting, and reduce the risk of control deficiencies.

IT Vulnerability Assessments Physical Security Evaluation Penetration Testing Wi-Fi Vulnerability Assessment Confidential Data Review Backup Infrastructure Evaluation Firewall Testing End User Education (Social Engineering/Phishing Exercises) SOX404 Testing FFIEC Cyber Security Assessment Service Organization Control (SOC) Reports NIST Cybersecurity Framework Evaluations

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Banking New England July/August 2016  

In this issue, finding sustainable solutions to the lack of women in commercial lending; M&As create opportunities to create stronger teams;...

Banking New England July/August 2016  

In this issue, finding sustainable solutions to the lack of women in commercial lending; M&As create opportunities to create stronger teams;...