LEOMINSTER, MA, – Sept. 17, 2015 – Fidelity Bank Chairman and CEO Edward Manzi announced today that Christopher W. McCarthy of Holden, a 20-year veteran of community and regional banks in Massachusetts, will join Fidelity on October 5th as the Bank’s next president and chief operating officer. The announcement comes several months after John Merrill, who has served as Fidelity’s president since 2010, shared with the Bank’s Board and Manzi that he plans on making a career change next June.
“Given Chris’ vast experience at community and larger regional banks, his leadership style, executive experience, and his commitment to the Central Massachusetts community, I couldn’t be more excited to announce this appointment,” said Manzi. “But I’m also relieved. When John Merrill came to me and expressed a readiness to embark on the next chapter of his career, all I could think about was how we would ever find someone to fill his extra-large shoes. We’re fortunate to have found that person in Chris, who has been right here within our own ranks, serving as a member of the Fidelity Bank Board of Directors since 2013. I’m delighted that the two will be working side by side during an extended period of transition, allowing for a smooth handoff of leadership responsibilities.”
Manzi indicated that because of the growth and increasing complexity of the Bank, John’s role will be replaced by not only Chris McCarthy, but also, a second individual, to be hired, who will serve as the Bank’s senior lender. That search is now underway. McCarthy will step down from the Board of Directors effective October 5 when he assumes his new role as president.
McCarthy brings a combined 20 years of experience to Fidelity, in an array of roles in banks across Massachusetts including TD Bank, Enterprise Bank, Banknorth, and Safety Fund National Bank. His background includes several years of national, executive-level experience in wealth management serving as head of national sales, and head of institutional/retirement trust at TD Bank. In particular, this experience fits well strategically to continue to enhance the Bank’s LifeDesign approach. McCarthy’s mix of community and large regional bank experience in combination with his time on the Bank’s Board of Directors uniquely prepares him to help lead Fidelity Bank. He most recently was general manager and a member of the leadership team at Customer Engineering Services, LLC.
“I’ve known Chris for 20 years and have watched him develop as he has worked his way up from his first position in community banking to his most recent – leading major divisions of a larger regional bank,” said Manzi. “Who better than Chris McCarthy, born and raised in Central Massachusetts, to advance Fidelity’s LifeDesign Promise – to use our financial expertise to help our clients make informed and smart decisions about their money.”
“Fidelity Bank is one of the strongest and most well respected banks in the area,” said McCarthy. “Having seen first-hand the leadership and vision that both Ed and the Board bring to the organization – and the community, I’m thrilled now to have the chance to be a part of it in a much more significant role.”
Currently engaged with alumni and fundraising for his alma mater, Nichols College, McCarthy serves as co-chair of the Nichols College President’s Society and is a member of the College’s Business Advisory Board. In the past, he has served as executive board member of the Nashua Valley Boy Scouts of America and as a board member of the Fitchburg Historical Society.
McCarthy was educated at Nichols College in Dudley, Massachusetts, from which he received both an MBA and his bachelor’s degree (marketing). He, his wife Kim, and their two daughters, are residents of Holden.
Merrill Announces Plans to Step Down Next June
Explaining his decision to step down in June of next year, Merrill, who as President of Fidelity Bank, has led all of the Bank’s customer segments, most notably commercial banking, and has been a prominent representative of the Bank in the community, put it this way:
“I’ve been in banking now for 30 years. I joined Fidelity because I wanted to be a part of a community bank that was mission driven and shared my vision for making a positive difference in our community. The last five years have been a great experience. I’m extremely proud of the many things we were able to accomplish in helping our customers, employees, and the community. The Bank has great momentum, and I’m extremely pleased and confident passing the baton to Chris.”
“I have an incredible opportunity to launch a new company that will provide a technology and service based solution to optimize community banks’ commercial banking capabilities. Although I’m eager to get started, my number one priority is a smooth and successful transition.”
“Because I care so deeply about the people at Fidelity Bank and its clients, I didn’t want my career plans to disrupt or damage in any way their business or the strong momentum they have going,” said Merrill. “That’s why I spoke with Ed and the Board several months ago and committed to working with them for over a year to ensure a smooth transition.”
“I can’t say enough about the positive contributions John has made to the Bank during his
tenure. He’s a talented banker but more important, he is a first-class professional. His willingness to be open and honest with me about his future career plans and the commitment he’s making to ensure a seamless transition are commendable.” said Manzi.
To help meet the needs of the Bank for a smooth transition of leadership responsibilities – not only to assist Chris McCarthy but also, to help the new senior lender once recruited – and also to assist with the integration of Barre Savings Bank and Fidelity Bank, Merrill has agreed to stay until June 2016.
“This is an exciting time for Fidelity Bank,” said Manzi. “Our financial position has never been stronger, we’re excited about the recently announced merger with Barre Savings Bank, and we’re a strong and growing bank full of caring professionals dedicated to living the LifeDesign Promise. We’re on the move.”
About Fidelity Bank
Fidelity Bank–one of the oldest and continually growing independent, local community banks in Central Massachusetts–offers a full range of banking, investment and insurance products and programs, and has full-service offices in Fitchburg, Gardner, Leominster, Millbury, Shirley, and Worcester.
Since 1888, the bank has remained committed to businesses, families and individuals in the communities it serves; in turn, loyalty demonstrated by members of those cities and towns has allowed the bank to become one of the strongest financial institutions in the region.
Fidelity has received a “5-Star” rating from Bauer Financial, Inc., the nation’s leading independent bank rating and research firm. Fidelity earned this rating by excelling in the areas of capital adequacy, profitability and asset quality. Additionally, Fidelity has been named one of the Top Places to Work in Massachusetts by The Boston Globe for four years in a row.
Today, Fidelity Bank is well capitalized and has total assets of $615 million. The FDIC and the Share Insurance Fund insure 100% of all deposits. Equal Housing Lender. Member FDIC. Member SIF.
For further information, please call 800.581.5363.