NEW HAVEN — First Niagara Financial Group, which endured a PR drubbing over its acquisition of New Haven’s NewAlliance Bank, will pony up $100,000 for a marquee sponsorship of the 16th annual International Festival of Arts & Ideas, which will take place June 11-25 at multiple sites throughout the Elm City. This year’s festival theme is “Across Border, Beyond Time.” The Buffalo, N.Y. bank’s financial commitment helps to ensure that the opening night performance by the Silk Road Ensemble, founded and led by world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma will be a free public event on the New Haven Green, instead of a ticketed event staged in a much smaller venue.

 WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Labor has made available a $335,400 National Emergency Grant to assist about 100 workers affected by layoffs at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville last September. Awarded to the state’s Department of Labor, the grant will be operated by the Eastern Connecticut Workforce Investment Board. It will provide workers assistance with resume writing and interviewing skills, vocational assessments and training for jobs in high-growth sectors, such as advanced manufacturing, “green” energy and health care.

Chandler Howard thumb 216x277 2359MIDDLETOWN: Forbes Magazine has recognized Liberty Bank as one of “America’s Best Banks”.

Forbes, says it conducted an independent study with the analytics firm Statista, to survey bank customers across the country. More than 25,000 respondents rated trustworthiness, digital services, financial advice, branch services and general satisfaction. According to Forbes banks receiving the highest ratings were awarded the title “Best-In-State” for 2018.

A Liberty release said, “this outstanding honor is a direct reflection of customer opinions and satisfaction toward Liberty Bank in Connecticut.”

farmingtonbankBRIDGEPORT: People's United Financial, Inc. [NASDAQ:PBCT], the holding company for People's United Bank, N.A., is acquiring Farmington based First Connecticut Bancorp, Inc. [NASDAQ:FBNK], the holding company for Farmington Bank.

Shareholders will receive stock in PBCT and the companies are valuing the transaction at approximately $544 million.

People's is the largest bank headquartered in Connecticut and has $44 billion in assets and 400 retail locations in Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

Farmington Bank established in 1851 as a mutual bank was converted to a public company in 2011. The bank has 26 locations in Connecticut and 2 in Western Massachusetts and $3.1 billion in assets. 

CarolynWelchGROTON: Chelsea Groton Bank’s Carolyn Welch has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Commercial Lending Manager. Welch will lead the bank’s commercial lending team.

“In Carolyn’s relatively short time with Chelsea Groton Bank, she has performed extremely well, developing new business for the Bank in the greater Hartford and New Haven counties, as well as in New London County,” said Tony Joyce, Executive Vice President, Senior Loan Officer at Chelsea Groton Bank. “She will now be in a position to help others on the Commercial team to aggregate business relationships in a similar way. Her prior experience as a Commercial Lending team leader will serve her well in this new capacity.”