Nov. 16, 1946 – Oct. 11, 2019
Brian E. Keating, retired regional president for HSBC Bank’s Western New York operations, was the man Buffalo-area business and civic leaders called to get things done.
When he headed the Catholic Charities Appeal in 1998, it set a record for first-day donations and exceeded its final goal.
When Buffalo Niagara Enterprise needed someone to lead a multimillion-dollar effort to bring new jobs to the region in 1999, he was the one they picked.
When the Business Backs the Sabres committee was formed in 2002 to sell enough season tickets to keep the team in Buffalo – after the economic collapse of owner John Rigas – he was one of the co-chairmen.
He “knows what it takes to bring new business to an area,” a Buffalo News editorial declared in 1999. “A tactician who understands how to attack a problem ... he does that by bringing people together.”
Mr. Keating died Oct. 11 in Canterbury Woods, Amherst. He was 72.
A Buffalo native, Brian Edward Keating was the son of Dr. Carroll E. Keating, chief of staff at St. Francis Hospital for 40 years.
He attended Nichols Middle School, was a 1964 graduate of Canisius College High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Canisius College in 1968.
He completed a master’s of business administration degree in finance from Babson College in Wellesley, Mass., in 1970, then spent several months as a research fellow at the London School of Economics in England.
Later he graduated from the Commercial Banking Management School at Columbia University.
He joined what was then Marine Midland Bank in 1971, as a management associate, and was working in Marine’s national department when he was promoted to assistant vice president in 1974.
He became a vice president in 1978.
The following year, the bank assigned him to London. He was director of loan syndications for Europe, Africa and the Middle East, then served as group head of the international corporate department.
Returning to Buffalo in 1983, Mr. Keating became the executive responsible for commercial banking. His position expanded in 1985 when he was appointed director of trust and investment services. In 1991, he was named western regional president, overseeing both commercial and retail operations in the Buffalo Niagara region.
In 2000, he additionally became executive vice president of retail and commercial banking for upstate New York, overseeing activities from Buffalo to Albany. He retained oversight of commercial banking when the retail and commercial divisions became separate in 2006.
When he stepped down from those posts, in 2007, he was appointed chairman of the bank’s western region advisory board and served until 2012.
In 2011, he became one of two managing directors at Dopkins Wealth Management LLC in Amherst.
He received numerous awards and honors, including induction into the Junior Achievement of Western New York’s Hall of Fame.
He served on the boards of directors of the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation, Nichols School, the Buffalo Foundation, the Buffalo Council on World Affairs, the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society, the YMCA of Greater Buffalo, Western New York Public Broadcasting, Unyts, Catholic Charities and the Bishop’s Council of Laity.
He was a member of the council of the Wehle School of Business at Canisius College and was the first treasurer of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership.
He was a member of St. Mark’s Catholic Church, a life member of the Buffalo Canoe Club and an avid tennis player, skier and biker.
Throughout his life, he enjoyed memorable times on the Lake Erie shore in Canada.
“My dad’s passion for Buffalo was unmatched,” his son, Brennan, said in a eulogy. “He loved living in and being from Buffalo. He honestly didn’t understand how anyone could root for anyone other than the Bills. ... He was always up for a Sahlen’s hot dog with Weber’s mustard, then would have to remind us they were the best in the world.”
Survivors include another son, Ryan; a daughter, Katherine Maleski; his former wife, Anne; a sister, Clare Nienhaus; and five grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial was offered Oct. 18 in St. Mark’s Church, 401 Woodward Ave.