Niagara Gazette

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January 13, 2014

First Niagara cuts chief banking officer position

Niagara Gazette — The First Niagara Financial Group has eliminated its chief banking officer position, but made two promotions to its leadership team.

Daniel E. Cantara III, who has been chief banking officer since December 2012, will leave First Niagara no later than Feb. 28, the bank said Friday. Cantara joined the bank in 2001.

First Niagara did not say why it was eliminating the job of chief banking officer. David Lanzillo, a bank spokesman, said First Niagara had no information to share beyond what was included in the news release.

According to a SEC filing, Cantara will receive severance benefits of approximately $1.5 million paid out over an 18-month period, together with a reimbursement of up to $10,000 in costs associated with outplacement services.

As chief banking officer, First Niagara said Cantara was responsible for “oversight and leadership of all of First Niagara’s customer-facing businesses, including commercial services, consumer finance and retail banking operations.”

“I thank Dan for his contributions and years of service to First Niagara,” said Gary M. Crosby, president and chief executive officer, in a statement.

First Niagara also announced it has begun a search for an executive vice president of commercial financial services. Both announcements come a day after the Buffalo-based bank said it could cut 170 jobs and close 10 branches over it’s four-state territory. But those employees were invited to apply for the 250 jobs First Niagara is trying to fill.

The bank announced Friday a few changes to the management team. Inder Koul and Julie Signorille were promoted and will serve on the company’s executive management team, reporting to Crosby.

Koul was named executive vice president and chief information officer, while Signorille was named executive vice president and managing director of operations. Koul has been with First Niagara since November 2012, while Signorille joined the bank in May 2010.

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