October 5, 2012

First Niagara cuts CT jobs amid recruiting

New York lender First Niagara Financial Group is realigning some staffing and will do away with 180 positions, including 35 in Connecticut and Massachusetts, as it recruits 250 others, The Associated Press reports.

A spokesman for the expanding Buffalo bank says the jobs being lost don't fit in with First Niagara's future plans. About 30 are in building maintenance, which is being outsourced. At least half of those workers have been offered jobs with the new company.

Of the 180 job cuts, about 35 are being felt in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Meanwhile, First Niagara says the 250 open positions are in a variety of areas that will try to spur new business growth.

"This is something that all high-performing businesses do," First Niagara spokesman David Lanzillo said. "We're no different in that we continuously refine how we operate our business to best serve our customers, support our communities and to create value for our shareholders. The realignments we have made enable us to achieve those goals and were designed to support future growth."

The bank says it's hired 2,700 people over the past two years, including 1,200 from its recent purchase of 195 HSBC branches in New York and southwestern Connecticut. First Niagara now has 430 branches and 6,000 employees in New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

In a separate announcement Friday, First Niagara said promoted 19-year veteran staffer Jeffrey J. Maddigan to treasurer at the holding company and bank.

Previously, Maddigan was the bank's senior director of balance sheet strategy, overseeing the team responsible for the company's investment portfolio, wholesale funding, capital management, and product pricing.

As treasurer, Maddigan will now also be responsible for interest-rate risk, capital, and liquidity management.

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