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July 19, 2018

Androscoggin Bank unveils leadership succession plan

Courtesy / Androscoggin Bank
Courtesy / Androscoggin Bank
Androscoggin Bank on Thursday announced the appointment of Neil Kiely, right, to succeed Paul Andersen, left, initially as president and then, after Dec. 31, 2019, as CEO.

Neil Kiely, named Thursday by Androscoggin Bank to succeed Paul Andersen as president and later as CEO, plans to switch gears from internal improvements at the Lewiston-based community bank to enhancing service to clients.

"We'll start to shift our focus from defense to offense," Kiely, who succeeds Paul Andersen as president, told Mainebiz in a telephone interview ahead of the announcement. Without going into detail, Kiely said he would aim to "improve the client experience in any way possible" through new financial solutions and delivery channels.

Kiely said the succession plan had been in the works for some time and positions the bank very well for the next 10 years with a younger, dedicated and committed leadership team.

Andersen will stay on as CEO until Dec. 31, 2019, before handing over to Kiely. Andersen will also remain on the board of directors as its new vice chair and eventually succeed Pasquale Maiorino as chair.

Kiely said that in the nearer term, the bank plans to deepen its investment in the Lewiston-Auburn area. It's also getting ready to grow its commercial team in Portland after signing a lease for space at 100 Middle St. The deal, for 5,348 square feet, was brokered by Tom Moulton, CCIM, SIOR from NAI The Dunham Group and Tony McDonald from CBRE | The Boulos Co., as listed in the Mainebiz Real Estate Insider.

More generally, Kiely said that although the bank is well represented in every market it serves from Scarborough to Jay, "we are always looking at expansion."

Kiely has served as chief strategic officer and then as chief operating officer leading the executive team, and as its general counsel. His accomplishments include refocusing the organization on its mission, vision and values; introducing private banking for clients with more complex needs; and leading the formation of a business intelligence team.

Andersen said in Thursday's news release that "in searching for my successor, I knew we needed someone who could lead the bank through rapidly changing times for our industry while maintaining our unwavering commitment to serving our clients, employees and communities as a value-based organization."

"An experienced attorney and entrepreneur with proven leadership abilities, Neil was the strategic choice," he added.

Kiely — whose business experience includes work real estate development, commercial financing and renewable energy — said his entrepreneurial background and "laser focus" serve him well at Androscoggin Bank.

"As a business owner, I've stood in the shoes of our business clients and have an understanding of their needs and challenges," he said. "I think I can leverage that experience to deliver something unique."

Kiely also said that his background as an attorney gives him the ability to understand rules and regulations and find ways to innovate within them. He said that's particularly valuable in banking, which is heavily regulated.

Androscoggin Bank, founded in 1870, had assets of $955.6 million as of Dec. 31, 2017 and ranked the tenth-largest Maine-based bank in Mainebiz's 2018 Book of Lists. It employs around 165 people, including 38 added in the last three years, according to Kiely.

"We will certainly add more folks as the opportunity arises," he said.

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