First Niagara's CEO Presents At Barclays Capital Global Financial Services Conference (Transcript)

First Niagara Financial Group Inc. (FNFG)

Barclays Capital Global Financial Services Conference Transcript

September 11, 2012 4:15 PM ET


John Koelmel - President and CEO

Greg Norwood - Chief Financial Officer

Ram Shankar - Head, Investor Relations


Matthew Keating - Barclays Capital


Matthew Keating - Barclays Capital

Good afternoon. My name is Matthew Keating, and I work on the U.S. Banks Research team here at Barclays. We are very pleased to have First Niagara Financial Group presenting this afternoon. First Niagara is a community oriented bank, which provides financial services to individuals, families and businesses across Upstate New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts. At the end of the second quarter it has $35 billion in assets, $28 billion in deposits, 430 branches and approximately 6,000 employees.

We are very pleased to have President and CEO, John Koelmel presenting. Also in attendance from the company are CFO, Greg Norwood; and Ram Shankar, Head of Investor Relations.

With that, I will turn it over to John.

John Koelmel

Thank you very much, Matt. Good afternoon, everyone. We appreciate sticking with us as we better clean up today. It’s good to be back. I forgotten, a year ago I missed those conference, we’ll be polite about it. I tore a muscle in my posterior, and was -- would really immobilize for couple of days. So it’s good to be up and above, and appreciate the opportunity to be in front of you again.

What, well, I do my best to do, move with some pace through the presentation and give opportunity for your feedback via the formal questions, as well as head hoc from the floor.

I want to do a quick little look in the real view mirror in terms of how we’ve gotten here, where we are today, that’s been most of my time focus on, what our focus and priorities are for the near-term today and the foreseeable future.

Continue to give hopefully increase clarity and what we think it will take for us to win, and what we expect of ourselves and what you can expect of us, in terms of performance and results.

Over the years I’ve used different phrases to capture the essence of where we are and one we used a couple years ago was the aggregate, integrate and operate theme, so dust that one up for a couple of minutes.

The talk about, how we’ve evolved over the last three, four, plus or minus years, and we find ourselves today, the beneficiaries, we believe we’re having aggregated, tremendous and talented team to an incredibly solid and we think opportunistic customer base across the geography of footprint and franchise on that with the combination above M&A, as well as organic growth.

Always start with talent, when you think aggregate, most people think M&A, before deals we strong together are clearly come back for that. First and foremost, for us always has and always will be the team and talent that we’ve aggregated.

We recruited 100s in addition to acquiring (inaudible) with these transactions. We recruited 100s of seasoned, experienced been there, done that professional from across the industry and across the business world and across the country. The group is very savvy, groups that incredibly focused on the customer and consistently sole and it’s a group, again we say repeatedly that defines why we are winning.

Winning hearts and minds, talk about that all the time. You can’t get to their valet unless you start with their heart and their mind. And that’s what’s differentiated us. As for the last three, four years, does today, and will continue to in the future.

Those customers that we’ve aggregated as I said really nice commercial bank mix. We’re evolving from a threat to commercial platform and very, very comfortable and confident and excited about the opportunity very loyal, committed and relationship focus and relationship driven customer base provides.

And that’s across the franchise and the footprint in the Northeast where the demographic speak for themselves and the stability and resiliency of the footprint, I think has took the test of time through the worst of the storm and further validates our attempt to ensure we stay focus geographically, don’t get a mild wide and steep, but focus on density and accumulating critical mass over tighter geography.

So as we look at that aggregate piece of the puzzle, I think we’ve been opportunistic every step of the way whether the wind was at our back or in our face. I’m pleased and proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish.

In terms of the integration piece of the equation, really is where we can continue to differentiate. I think our execution is relatively unique and a lot of us use those words from time-to-time, but I take a lot pride in this case.

There is a real short list of the do what we do the way we do it. Whether that be the day one full conversion, people, products, systems, infrastructure, whether that would be the systems conversion, legally complete the transaction 4:30, 5 o’clock on Friday, reopen the business 9 o’clock Monday morning under the First Niagara banner, on the First Niagara system, no parallel pause, et cetera.

What’s the reason for that so that we can play offense, no [deep friends] from day one is all about playing offense, are we perfect, clearly not, but the clean up the stumbles, stumbles are minimized and we are quickly in offensive mode.

Read the rest of this transcript for free on

More from Stocks

2 Things Fed Chairman Jerome Powell Just Said Upset Investors

2 Things Fed Chairman Jerome Powell Just Said Upset Investors

How to Invest Like Warren Buffett

How to Invest Like Warren Buffett

Jim Cramer: Oil Needs to Go Down to See Worldwide Growth Pick Up

Jim Cramer: Oil Needs to Go Down to See Worldwide Growth Pick Up

Jim Cramer on the Problem With the Case for More Rate Hikes

Jim Cramer on the Problem With the Case for More Rate Hikes

Video: Jim Cramer on Fed Rate Hikes, Oil Prices and Starbucks Worries

Video: Jim Cramer on Fed Rate Hikes, Oil Prices and Starbucks Worries