M&T Bank shuffling its top managers

Sadler to leave CEO post in Dec.

November 23, 2006|By Laura Smitherman | Laura Smitherman,Sun reporter

M&T Bank Corp. chief executive Robert E. Sadler Jr. announced yesterday that he will retire from his post at the end of the year, ushering in a re-ordering of executives at the Buffalo, N.Y.-based bank, which ranks as the third-largest in Maryland by market share.

Sadler, who characterized his decision as "very personal" in a statement, will remain as a vice chairman at the bank.

Chairman Robert G. Wilmers, who stepped down as chief executive officer to make way for Sadler less than 18 months ago, will return to that position.

Wilmers engineered the acquisition of Baltimore-based Allfirst Financial Inc. from parent Allied Irish Banks PLC in 2002.

As part of the transition, Michael P. Pinto, who is head of the Mid-Atlantic division and based in Baltimore, has been named a vice chairman and will retain his post while taking over M&T's entire commercial banking business.

Mark J. Czarnecki, who leads M&T's retail banking, investment and insurance businesses, has been named president.

"Mark and I have worked together for 21 years, and we will be partners in running the bank," Pinto said. "We are a very consensus-conscious bank."

As for Sadler's departure, Pinto said, "He has done it all, and he just wanted more time to himself."

Wilmers, who could not be reached for comment, characterized the promotions of Czarnecki and Pinto in a statement as "the next logical steps in their careers."

Bank officials said yesterday that they do not consider Wilmer's return to the chief executive office as temporary.

M&T Bank, which recently celebrated its 150th anniversary, has $56 billion in assets and operates a network of more than 650 branches across six states and the District of Columbia.

Its stock, which has gained 9 percent in the past year, rose 27 cents, or less than 1 percent, to $120.78 yesterday in trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

laura.smitherman@baltsun.com

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