Berkshire Bank to move into new Boston space by December

PITTSFIELD — Berkshire Bank has found a site for its corporate headquarters in Boston, and plans to occupy that space by December, bank officials said on Thursday.

The new location is in a multi-story office building at 60 State St., on the corner of Congress and State streets. It is located in the heart of Boston's financial district, and is close to both historic Fanueil Hall and City Hall Plaza.

"It fits all of the things that we were looking for in terms of a location," said Berkshire Bank spokeswoman Heidi Higgins.

The new location will serve solely as the headquarters for the bank's holding company, Berkshire Hills Bancorp, which is the group that oversees Berkshire Bank and all of its affiliate organizations, and serves as the entity that is publicly traded.

Berkshire Bank's operational headquarters will remain at its current location on 99 North St. in Pittsfield, Higgins said.

By moving its corporate headquarters to New England's largest city, Berkshire will become the first regional bank to be headquartered in Boston in decades, bank officials have said. Berkshire will become the state's largest regional bank when its pending acquisition of Worcester-based Commerce Bancshares is finalized. That transaction has received regulatory approval, and is expected to close next week.

Berkshire's footprint currently stretches from Boston west to Syracuse, N.Y., north to Rutland, Vt. and south into Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

"This new headquarters location reflects our leading role as a New England regional bank and northeastern financial institution with national spending lending teams," said Berkshire Bank CEO Michael Daly. "With our central presence in New England's financial hub, we're expanding our Boston area bank operations and enhancing the resources we provide to all of our regional banking markets."

Moving Berkshire's corporate headquarters to Boston also provides the bank with increased access to senior business, civic and elected leaders, bank officials said. The new corporate headquarters will serve as the home base for the bank's senior executive team, local bankers in commercial, retail and private banking and wealth management operations. Daly has already purchased a home in the Boston area in anticipation of the move.

"We've had great success with our eastern Massachusetts expansion in recent years, and we've become an important community partner in Boston," said Berkshire's Chief Operating Officer Sean Gray.

Being close to City Hall Plaza also strengthens Berkshire's partnership with Delaware North, the entity that owns the Boston Bruins National Hockey League team, Higgins said. Berkshire is a major sponsor of Bruins telecasts on New England Sports Network, and serves as a community sponsor of Boston Seasons events that take place at City Hall Plaza.

In anticipation of the move, Berkshire has added three new executives to its established team in the Greater Boston area. Paul Kelly has joined Berkshire as regional president for Boston and Worcester; Doug MacLean as senior vice president, commercial real estate marketing executive; and Susan Yahn DiPinto as senior vice president, private banking.

Kelly formerly served as regional market president for People's United Bank, and MacLean as New England market executive of First Niagara Bank, which was acquired last year by Key Bank. DiPinto has 30 years of relationship and leadership experience mostly recently with Boston Private Bank.

Business Editor Tony Dobrowolski can be reached at 413 496-6224.

Higgins stressed that the new location will house


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