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Financial Institutions, Inc. Names Martin Birmingham As CEO

WARSAW, N.Y., Feb. 20, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Martin K. Birmingham has been named as chief executive officer and president of Financial Institutions, Inc. (Nasdaq:FISI) and its subsidiary Five Star Bank, effective March 1, 2013.

He succeeds John E. Benjamin, who served as interim CEO for the past several months. Mr. Benjamin remains chairman of the Board of Directors.

"In selecting our next CEO, the Board was focused on fulfilling our mission for the benefit of shareholders. Marty has distinguished himself as this type of forward-looking leader," said Mr. Benjamin. "He has a multifaceted understanding of the community banking environment, and a true appreciation for the core customer and employee values that make us unique. With the intent of extending our track record of consistent growth, the Board is enthusiastic about having Marty at the helm."

Since joining Financial Institutions, Inc. in 2005, Mr. Birmingham has served as executive vice president and Commercial Banking Executive. He also served as the Northeast regional president of Five Star Bank. Previously, he served as president and CEO of the National Bank of Geneva; as Rochester regional market president for Bank of America Corporation; and held corporate banking roles with Fleet Financial Group's Rochester Division.

"It's an extraordinary time for Five Star. We're intently pursuing organic growth opportunities while remaining nimble to capitalize on marketplace changes," said Birmingham. "By combining the substantial talents of our entire team with more innovative approaches and community-centered values, we're poised for considerable success. I'm humbled and honored to step into this role, especially given our reputation that stretches back 150 years."

Mr. Birmingham earned his Bachelor's degree in Economics from St. Lawrence University, and is a MBA candidate at the University of Rochester's Simon Graduate School of Business. He is active in the Western New York non-profit and business communities, serving in volunteer leadership roles with St. John Fisher College, the Rochester Business Alliance, the Catholic Diocese of Rochester, AAA of Western and Central New York, and the Monroe Community College Foundation. He is the past chair of the Rochester/Monroe County Work Force Investment Board.

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