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M&T director who helped bring in Wilmers set to retire

Brent D. Baird, who was part of a shareholder group that put Robert G. Wilmers in charge of M&T Bank in 1983, will retire as a director of the bank after 37 years.

Baird, 81, a private investor with Trubee, Collins & Co., will step aside after M&T's next annual shareholders meeting April 21 at the bank's headquarters.

Baird was part of the effort to put Wilmers in charge of what was then a struggling bank. Under Wilmers' leadership, the bank turned into a regional banking powerhouse that he led until his death in 2017.

In his annual letter to shareholders, Rene F. Jones, M&T's chairman and CEO, praised Baird for his service. Baird personally reviewed the 24 acquisitions M&T completed during his tenure on the board, while also serving as a link to M&T's past and a source of institutional memory, Jones said.

"If I close my eyes, I can hear our dear friend Bob Wilmers grousing, 'Brent, you’re too young to retire,' and I must admit, I feel the same way," Jones wrote.

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