New Hampshire Mutual Bancorp (NHMB) held its annual meeting of corporators on April 3, 2019. This year’s event was particularly significant as NHMB leadership came together for the company’s first annual meeting since Savings Bank of Walpole (SBW) joined NHMB. It was also the first annual meeting under Gregg Tewksbury, NHMB President and CEO, who succeeded Sam Laverack after Laverack’s retirement in June 2018. The event celebrated NHMB’s attainment of record-level assets, which were $2.29 billion on December 31, 2018– nearly $1 billion in growth from 2013, when assets were $1.3 billion at the company’s formation.
New Hampshire Mutual Bancorp, a mutual holding company, was formed in 2013 when two New Hampshire-based community banks, Meredith Village Savings Bank (MVSB) and Merrimack County Savings Bank (the Merrimack), formally affiliated – the first relationship of its kind in New Hampshire. MillRiver Wealth Management (MillRiver) joined as a third subsidiary in 2015, combining the financial advisory divisions of MVSB and the Merrimack. In July 2018, Savings Bank of Walpole (SBW) joined. This strategic partnership has positioned the banks to leverage each other’s strengths as the companies work together to advance a shared vision of maintaining and enhancing mutual community banking standards and values. Each bank remains separately chartered and managed. This way, each can continue its 150 year old tradition of serving the local community, while sharing supportive resources such as information technology, risk management, compliance, marketing, human resources, finance and operations. NHMB provides the framework and organizational structure for enhancing efficiencies and profitability of its individual affiliated brands.
Jason Hicks, Chief Financial Officer of NHMB, presented the 2018 audited financials to more than 100 attendees. “The financial condition of New Hampshire Mutual Bancorp and our affiliates remains strong,” said Hicks. “Our company is growing. We continue to prove the incredible viability of this unique model for maintaining our community focus through our local banks and wealth management firm. NHMB’s mission allows us to preserve the rich mutual heritage for each of our brands.”
With the organization’s ever-expanding growth, the purchase and renovation of a second operations center on Foundry Street in Concord is nearing completion. By May 2019, the location will be the headquarters for Concord-based employees in operations and finance. MVSB already has a large operations hub at its Seneca Ladd Building on NH-Route 25 in Meredith.
Seven new corporators became formal members of the NHMB family at the annual meeting. These include Elyssa Alfieri of Concord, Nathan Dutile of Meredith, Jessica Prieto of Henniker, Eli Sinyak of Gilford, Michael Kilfoyle of Plymouth, Carmen Lorentz of Belmont and Christiana Thornton of Pembroke.
Alfieri owns Lilise Designer Resale boutique in Concord. She is also a Board member and past President of Intown Concord, Board member and past Chair of Concord Young Professionals Network, Board member of the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce and Board member of the NH Young Veterans Network.
Dutile, Certified Public Accountant (CPA), is the Director of Corporate Financial Planning for iRobot Corporation located in Bedford, MA, where he focuses on driving globalization initiatives.
Prieto is the CEO of Michie Corporation in Henniker. Michie Corporation is family-owned and operated, providing precast and Redi-Mix concrete products to greater New England since 1974. Prieto is the past President of White Birch Community Center and is currently a Board member of the NH Association of General Contractors, a member of Henniker Chamber of Commerce and an active member of the National Precast Concrete Association.
Sinyak served as the Regional Chief Operating Officer (COO) for HSBC in the Americas at the time of his retirement in 2015. Prior to that, he was COO for Asia Pacific and held several country-specific, regional, and global roles at HSBC. He currently serves on the boards of the Mayhew Program and Make-A-Wish, NH.
Kilfoyle is a Principal of Hickok & Boardman HR Intelligence located in Burlington, VT. He is also an adjunct professor at Plymouth State University where he teaches business classes. Kilfoyle has served on a number of non-profit boards and coaches youth basketball.
Lorentz is the Executive Director of Lakes Region Community Developers in Laconia. She currently serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Winnipesaukee Playhouse, Chair of the College Advisory Board for Lakes Region Community College, President of the Board of Directors for the NH Economic Development Association, Vice Chair of the Board of Stay Work Play, an Incorporator at BelknapEDC and an Incorporator at LRGHealthcare. She is also a member of the National NeighborWorks Association and Housing Action New Hampshire.
Thornton is the CEO of the New Hampshire Higher Education Assistance Foundation (NHHEAF) located in Concord. She was previously the CEO of NH Bankers Association which instilled in her a true desire to see community banking thrive. She is a member of the Education Finance Council, National Council of Higher Education Resources, Student Loan Servicing Alliance, New England Council, Business & Industry Association and the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce.
In addition, 55 renewing corporators from throughout the state were nominated and approved for new terms. Six trustees were also re-elected. Interested parties can visit nhmutual.com for a list of current trustees and corporators, as well as individual partner websites: mvsb.com, themerrimack.com, nhtrust.com and walpolebank.com for a list of each of organization’s directors.
Tewksbury updated the attendees on the successes of 2018 as well as future plans. His remarks followed the theme of commitment– to mutuality, to the local community, to employees and to customers. He noted the promotions of organizational leaders to key roles, including Philip Emma who now serves as the Chief Operating Officer and EVP for NHMB; Linda Lorden who has succeeded Emma as President of Merrimack County Savings Bank; and Mark Bodin who took on the role of President of Savings Bank of Walpole when Tewksbury was promoted to President and CEO of NHMB. Rick Wyman, President of MVSB and EVP of NHMB and Paul Provost, President of MillRiver, also continue their long and loyal relationships with NHMB.
Tewksbury announced that NHMB finalized its three-year strategic plan encompassing opportunities for growth and improvement. He highlighted that the management and boards of directors for each institution are committed to maintaining each bank’s status as an independent community bank under a mutual form of ownership. A mutual holding company has no stockholders, which allows decision-making to be based on the longer-term benefits to the community, customers and employees as opposed to the immediate needs of stockholders and the market. Mutual banks are a rarity in the banking market place, and are able to make decisions that promote local Main Streets instead of “Wall Street.”
The unique NHMB organizational model allows its banks to remain independent and distinctive, each reflecting the communities supported. The organizations are self-governing, while sharing costs and ideas that better serve customers with significantly greater loan capacity, leading-edge products and services and enhanced technology-based delivery systems. The success of this model has led to significant growth in assets, in local volunteerism and nonprofit financial support as well as community based employment. This model has also allowed for substantial career opportunities for staff.