Mooney highsmith port

Beth Mooney 61, has been CEO and Chariman of KeyCorp since 2011. She is the first woman CEO of a top-20 US bank. 

Carlton Highsmith at ConnCat a non-profit he helped found and finance that provides arts training for young minority students and medical and culinary training for adults. 

Once Local New Haven Savings Bank  Merged Into “National” Bank

By Mitchell Young

CLEVELAND: First Niagara Financial Group, Inc., based in Buffalo with operations of the former New Alliance Bank in New Haven, has been acquired by Cleveland-based KeyCorp. KeyCorp, who like First Niagara had its roots in upstate New York, has grown into the 13th largest bank in the United States with $135 billion in assets. 

Connecticut’s largest locally operated bank by assets is Peoples United with $39 billion and Bank America, the country’s second largest bank, also operates in Connecticut and has assets of  $2.2 trillion.

The $4.1 billion acquisition of First Niagara expands Key’s footprint to include Pittsburg, Philadelphia, Connecticut and Western Massachusetts. Overlaps in Pennsylvania and New York will result in the sale of at least 18 branches in New York. Additionally, there is a reported 30% overlap in some First Niagara’s markets. There were no Key Bank locations in Connecticut.

Accounts are expected to convert from First Niagara to KeyCorp by the fourth quarter of 2016.

Key Bank has an unusual footprint for its more than 1,200 branches. It operates in 16 states including: Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York Pennsylvania. Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Alaska and Florida.

KeyCorp Chairman and CEO Beth Mooney saw her company’s stock drop in the past year as it finalized the merger. The high for the stock in the past few years has been just over $15 per share, it now trades at about $11.70. The market value of KeyCorp is just under $10 billion.

In an agreement with the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, an association of community groups, Key has agreed to $14.5 billion to spend and invest over the next five years on a “community benefits plan” to include small business lending and philanthropic contributions.

Local businessman and philantropist Carlton Highsmith and Business New Haven Business Person of the Year 2006 was a director of New Alliance Bank and was appointed a director of First Niagara, and now has been appointed a director of KeyCorp. Highsmith is also a director of Quinnipiac University and Yale New Haven Health System.