René Jones Named Chairman and CEO of M&T Bank Corp.

Real Estate In-Depth | December 2017

Rene F. Jones, Chairman and CEO M&T Bank PHOTO CREDIT: PRNEWS

BUFFALO, NY—Following the sudden death of its longtime chairman and CEO Robert G. Wilmers earlier this month, M&T Bank Corp. announced on Dec. 20 that René F. Jones was appointed chairman and CEO of M&T and its principal banking subsidiary, M&T Bank. He was also elected to the Board of Directors of both M&T Corp. and M&T Bank.

Wilmers passed away suddenly and unexpectedly at his home on Saturday, Dec. 16.

M&T also named Richard S. Gold president and COO of M&T Corp. and M&T Bank. Gold was also elected to the Board of Directors of both M&T Corp. and M&T Bank.

“Over the past 34 years, Bob Wilmers built M&T into one of the most successful banks in the country,” said Robert T. Brady, M&T’s Non-Executive Chairman. “Mr. Wilmers did not do it alone, however. Thousands of experienced colleagues have worked side-by-side with Bob to develop and deliver M&T’s successful community-focused approach, including a Management Committee comprised of members with an average tenure of 24 years at M&T.”

He added, “Together, René, Rich and the rest of the Management Committee are well prepared to perpetuate M&T’s long record of strength and success, and to carry on Bob’s tradition of conservative, consistent community banking.”

Jones, 53, joined M&T in 1992, and was appointed to the Management Committee in 2005. He served as M&T’s Chief Financial Officer from 2005 to 2016. He received a Bachelor of Science in Management Science from Boston College and a Master of Business Administration with concentrations in Finance, Organization and Markets from the University of Rochester Simon School of Business.

Gold, 57, began his career with M&T Bank in 1989 and has held numerous managerial positions in retail banking, consumer lending, mortgage and business banking. In 2007, he was appointed to the Management Committee, and in 2014, he was named Vice Chairman and took on the role of Chief Risk Officer. He earned a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations and a Master of Business Administration from New York University Stern School of Business.

“Bob Wilmers was an inspiration to us all, and his legacy will live on in everything we do to support our colleagues, serve our customers and strengthen our communities,” said Jones. “Our shareholders, employees, customers and communities can expect to see continuity in M&T’s overall vision and direction, and a continued commitment to the values that Bob Wilmers embodied.”

“Together, the M&T family will carry on—as Bob would have wanted—focused as strongly and steadfastly as ever on our colleagues, our customers and our communities,” said Gold.

Wilmers held the positions of chairman and CEO since May 1983, when M&T had assets of $2 billion. Today, M&T’s assets total more than $122 billion.

Wilmers has received many honors and awards for his service to the banking industry, as well as for his leadership and contributions to the Buffalo community. These awards include the Greater Buffalo Chamber of Commerce ‘Western New Yorker of the Year’ Award (1991); State University of New York at Buffalo School of Management ‘Niagara Frontier Executive of the Year’ Award (1992); The Buffalo News ‘Citizen of the Year Award’ (1987 and 1994); American Banker ‘Lifetime Achievement’ Award (2005); ‘Chevalier of the Legion of Honor’ by the President of France (2008); American Banker ‘Banker of the Year’ Award (2011); and the ‘Chancellor Charles P. Norton Medal,’ the State University of New York at Buffalo’s highest honor, for civic patriotism (2015).

He has also received honorary degrees from Canisius College (Doctor of Humane Letters in 1988), Niagara University (Doctor of Commercial Science in 1991) and the State University of New York at Buffalo (Doctor of Humane Letters in 2004).

Wilmers graduated from Harvard College and attended the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration. After working in banking in New York, he served in New York City government and then went on to work at Morgan Guaranty Trust Company.

M&T had announced on Sunday, Dec.17 that lead outside director Robert T. Brady, former Chairman and CEO of Moog, Inc., was named M&T’s Non-Executive Chairman. Brady has since resumed his role as Vice Chairman and lead outside director of M&T’s Board.

M&T is a financial holding company headquartered in Buffalo. M&T’s principal banking subsidiary, M&T Bank, operates banking offices in New York, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. Trust-related services are provided by M&T’s Wilmington Trust-affiliated companies and by M&T Bank.