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KeyBank, First Niagara address employees’ job questions

KeyCorp and First Niagara Financial Group say a “fundamental priority” is to “find job placement for as many impacted employees as possible” as they evaluate how to combine their operations.

The two banks shared that message in a “human resources Q&A,” addressing how the planned $4.1 billion deal will reshape the workforce. A copy was filed with regulators.

The banks don’t specify how many jobs are expected to be cut or kept, or in which areas. But they said their merger teams are “working to finalize the details and processes” for First Niagara employees wondering how to go about continuing their employment with KeyBank, if the deal goes through.

“KeyBank and First Niagara will work together to assess talent and make selection decisions in areas where there are duplicate roles,” the banks said. They added that a “core principle of the merger process is that employees will be treated with respect and given timely communication regarding decisions that affect them.”

First Niagara employees whose jobs are eliminated will have an opportunity to be considered for other open positions. If employees’ positions are eliminated and they are not offered a comparable position, they will be eligible for severance pay, the banks said. They define a comparable position as one with similar compensation, substantially comparable skills and abilities, and at a location within 40 miles of their current place of employment.

The banks have completed the first of four phases of the integration process: forming merger integration teams with employees from both banks.

They are in the second phase, which they call assessment. That involves analyzing how both banks conduct business, how they will run their operations post-merger, and conducting “detailed integration planning.”

The third phase – implementation – will take place between the time the deal is closed and mid-2017. The banks hope to complete the deal in the third quarter.

The fourth phase is a “wind-down phase,” when “certain transition activities become ‘business as usual,’ ” the banks said.