BERKSHIRE HILLS BANCORP TO LOCATE CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS IN BOSTON: FIRST REGIONAL BANK WITH BOSTON HQ IN DECADES
Commerce Bank Acquisition Further Solidifies Boston Presence
Berkshire Hills Bancorp, parent of Berkshire Bank, announced today that it plans to relocate its corporate headquarters to Boston later this year; an exciting move to support the Bank’s continued strategic growth throughout the Northeast. The Company also announced a definitive agreement to acquire Commerce Bancshares Corp. and its subsidiary, Commerce Bank, in Worcester, MA, adding sixteen new branches in eastern Massachusetts and a well-established commercial team to capitalize on growth opportunities and further solidify its regional presence. The combined institution will be the largest regional bank in Massachusetts and first regional bank headquartered in Boston in decades.
“Locating our corporate headquarters in Boston will not take us away from our roots in Berkshire County; we remain committed to all of our employees, customers and communities,” said Michael P. Daly, CEO of Berkshire Bank. “Boston will offer our senior executives connectivity with government leaders, regulators, and decision makers, and provide the ability to attract broader workforce talent as the bank continues to grow. With the addition of the Commerce team we will be able to leverage the strengths of both banks and capitalize on growth opportunities in the attractive, high-growth Eastern Massachusetts markets. This is not only important to Boston, but to all our local markets, to be the first regional bank with a Boston headquarters in decades.”
The proposed acquisition provides significant scale in Eastern Massachusetts. The combined franchise will operate its corporate headquarters, 4 branches and 3 lending offices in Greater Boston, and an additional 15 branches in and around Worcester, with $3 billion in loans and $2 billion in deposits. On completion of the deal, Berkshire Bank will have 113 branches serving customers across the Northeast. Berkshire is committed to growing its innovative operating model, levering its platforms such as the revolutionary MyBankerTM concierge banking service, and expects commercial, wealth management and private banking businesses to be a focus of its strategy in Greater Boston.
Berkshire Bank continues to be a pillar in Berkshire County as one of its largest employers and a leader in community involvement. Its operational center will remain in downtown Pittsfield and the relocation will not have any impact on its employees. Additionally, our current regional hubs serving markets in New York’s Capital and Central regions, the Hartford/Springfield region, Southern Vermont, as well as its operations around Princeton, NJ will continue to be significant contributors to our success.
“Relocating our corporate headquarters to Boston’s financial district is a well-timed move that will make us stronger by driving value and adding jobs that will benefit our employees and customers across our footprint,” said Sean A. Gray, Chief Operating Officer. “As a successful regional bank, having our headquarters in a strong hub for the financial services industry provides economic value and takes advantage of the largest New England market to fuel growth, increase our ability capitalize on our investment in all of our communities,” he added.
In all markets, Berkshire Bank prioritizes community engagement with its national award winning volunteer program. Berkshire Bank’s corporate employees’ volunteer program, the XTeamTM, had 100% participation and provided 40,000 hours of service with a value of more than $1 million in 2016. In addition, Berkshire Bank has a number of strong ties in the Boston region, including; being the community presenting sponsor of Boston Seasons at City Hall Plaza; the Official Bank of NESN’s Boston Bruins coverage, the official partner for lending and deposit products for the Massachusetts Teachers Association, and proud to have representation by Ray Bourque, NHL hockey legend as its spokesperson.
References to corporate headquarters refer to the executive offices of Berkshire Hills Bancorp. The relocation of the bank’s main office is subject to regulatory approval. The downtown Boston corporate headquarters location will be announced in early third quarter 2017.