"Not only does First Niagara have a proven track record of success, but a clear vision for how it will continue improving every aspect of its business, increasing shareholder value and serving its customers and communities," Norwood added.  "I'm proud to be joining the team that is charged with executing First Niagara's growth strategy and furthering its success."

Previously, Norwood was a partner with KPMG, LLP, serving financial services clients including some of the nation's largest banks from the firm's New York and Charlotte, N.C. offices. He started his career as a certified public accountant with KPMG in 1980, including serving for two years as a professional accounting fellow at the Securities and Exchange Commission's Washington headquarters. 

Norwood earned his bachelor's degree in accounting from Northern Arizona University.

About First Niagara Financial Group

Upon completion of its pending merger with NewAlliance Bancshares, Inc., -- subject to customary closing conditions including approvals from regulators -- First Niagara Financial Group, Inc. will have more than $30 billion in assets, $18 billion in deposits and 340 branches across Upstate New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Today, through its wholly owned subsidiary, First Niagara Bank, N.A., the Company has $21 billion in assets, 257 branches and $13 billion in deposits. First Niagara Bank, N.A. is a multi-state community-oriented bank providing financial services to individuals, families and businesses. For more information, visit www.fnfg.com.
CONTACT: First Niagara Contact         Leslie G. Garrity         Public Relations and Corporate Communications Manager         (716) 819-5921         leslie.garrity@fnfg.com

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