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First Niagara names new chief financial officer

First Niagara Financial Group on Thursday promoted Michael W. Harrington to chief financial officer, succeeding John R. Koelmel, who was named president and chief operating officer earlier this month.

Harrington, 43, joined First Niagara in 2003 as senior vice president and treasurer. The 20-year veteran of financial management and banking was previously senior vice president and chief financial officer at Equity Bank in Marlton, N.J., now called Susquehanna Patriot Bank and part of Susquehanna Bancshares Inc.

He was previously a senior manager at McGuire Performance Solutions in Scottsdale, Ariz., and at Commerce Bank.

The 54-year-old Koelmel, who also joined the bank in 2003, was promoted following the firing of former CEO Paul Kolkmeyer by the board on Dec. 8. The board cited differences in management style, not strategy, as the reason for its surprise decision.

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