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Key blends in leaders familiar with Buffalo’s banking scene

After KeyCorp completed its $4 billion acquisition of First Niagara last summer, Key created a Buffalo-based leadership team that blended its own members with First Niagara leaders who were familiar with Buffalo banking and customers. This marks the first full year the combined team will work together and try to capitalize on that approach.

While Key is headquartered in Cleveland, Buffalo has become a significant hub. Key declared Larkinville as its Northeast headquarters, and also has regional offices at 250 Delaware Ave., among other locations in the region. The bank has pledged to keep job cuts in New York State to a minimum, while pledging to add positions in future years. Key is counting on building on operations it already had in place in the Buffalo area, as well as growing First Niagara lines of business across all of Key’s business territory.

Here is a look at some of the members of the locally based leadership team who will direct those efforts:

Gary Quenneville
Title: Regional executive for upstate New York
Joined: 1985
The Clarence resident is the person most readily identified with Key in Western New York. He has spent his career with Key and was the bank's top locally based leader even before its $4 billion deal for First Niagara Financial Group. Quenneville started with Key as a management associate in Watertown more than 30 years ago, before a series of promotions. Seven years ago, he was named Western New York district president. He went on to oversee Key’s entire New York State territory, before the bank restructured following the First Niagara acquisition. Quenneville is now Key’s regional executive covering Buffalo, Rochester and Central New York.

[Related: Prospectus 2017/Unveiling the New Buffalo]

Buford Sears
Title: Buffalo region market leader and commercial and private sales bank leader
Joined: 2016
Sears has a good vantage point on local banking, having worked at M&T, First Niagara and now Key. He was among the First Niagara leaders who moved to Key with the acquisition. Sears’s most recent job at First Niagara was Western New York region president and managing director of specialized banking. Sears joined First Niagara in 2010 from M&T Bank, as First Niagara was growing.

Tony Rizzo
Title: Commercial banking team head for Buffalo Region Market
Joined: 2016
Rizzo also made the transition from First Niagara, where he had served as head of First Niagara’s commercial banking group. Rizzo joined First Niagara in 2010, when the Buffalo-based bank was expanding. He previously worked at Citizens Bank.

John C. Wright
Title: Business banking team leader for Buffalo region market
Joined: 2016
Wright led First Niagara’s business banking group prior to the acquisition by Key. He also had previous roles with Waterford Village Bank and HSBC.

Elizabeth Vealey
Title: Head of the Key Private Bank team in Buffalo
Joined: 2011
Vealey, a master of business administration and certified public accountant, came to Key from Robert Half International. She now leads combined wealth and investment management services in Buffalo for Key Private Bank, which is KeyCorp's wealth management division.

Sharon Lochocki
Title: Regional retail sales leader for retail banking team in Buffalo and Rochester
Joined: 1982
Lochocki started with Key as a teller and has worked her way through the ranks to senior vice president. In 2010, Key named her its district leader of retail banking for its Western New York district.

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