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First Niagara continues growth pattern

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Buffalo, N.Y.-based First Niagara Bank will open its new Fairfield County headquarters Thursday, Jan. 23, with a 5-7 p.m. ribbon-cutting and reception at 40 Richards Ave. in Norwalk.

Representatives of Pierson & Smith, the bank’s insurance subsidiary, also are expected. Pierson & Smith has been headquartered in Norwalk since 1995.

A large number of business and civic leaders are expected, including Cathie Schaffer, tri-state regional president, First Niagara; David Ring, New England regional president, First Niagara; Bruce Rogers, regional director of insurance, Pierson & Smith; Ed Musante, president, Greater Norwalk Chamber of Commerce; Chris Bruhl, president, Business Council of Fairfield County; state Sen. Bob Duff (D-Norwalk/Darien); assistant president pro tempore state Rep. Chris Perone (D-Norwalk );Norwalk Common Council members.

Schaffer and Rogers will serve as hosts and will speak briefly.

Since entering Connecticut in 2011, First Niagara has steadily increased its presence in Fairfield County, more than doubling its retail branch network, and significantly increasing the number of commercial bankers, financial managers, commercial real estate professionals and risk management resources serving the region. The bank now operates a total 80 branches throughout the county and state.

Thursday’s open house and ribbon cutting celebrates First Niagara’s newest office, which, in addition to Pierson & Smith, will house banking executives from departments including First Niagara’s commercial lending, commercial real estate, residential mortgage, small business and private client services.

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