Daily News: December 30, 2014

United Financial Names New Chief Risk Officer

William H.W. Crawford, IV, CEO of United Financial Bancorp and United Bank of Glastonbury, CT, announced that the company expects to record certain charges in its fiscal 2014 fourth quarter earnings, aggregating to a total of approximately $5.5 million pre-tax.

The company said it has initiated certain restructuring initiatives in order to achieve greater operational efficiencies.

The charges relate to a reduction in an unspecified number of management and staff positions and the implementation of a branch optimization strategy which includes the closure of five non-strategic branches in United’s branch network, pending regulatory approval. The company said it expects to realize approximately $3.0 million pre-tax of ongoing cost savings as a result of this restructuring. Nearly all of these benefits will be fully-realized in fiscal 2015.

The company also announced that Scott C. Bechtle, chief risk officer, will be leaving United Bank effective Tuesday, December 30, 2014.

The bank’s risk oversight responsibilities will be divided into a credit risk function overseen by the current executive vice president and chief credit officer Mark A. Kucia. The enterprise risk management and compliance will now be overseen by United’s newly-appointed chief risk officer, Elizabeth “Betsy” Kenney Wynnick, its current executive vice president and director of Internal Audit who is replacing Bechtle.

Bechtle came to United Bank in July 2011 after being recruited by Crawford to establish and oversee the company’s Risk Department. As CRO, Bechtle focused on credit policy/credit administration, loan review, compliance and enterprise risk management. He was also United’s lead regulatory liaison. In addition to his time at United, Bechtle’s more than 30 years in banking included his role as CRO at Florida Shores Bank, South Trust and Barnett Bank.