A Michigan native is taking the new position of vice chairman of FirstMerit Corp. and chairman and chief executive officer of FirstMerit Michigan.
Sandra “Sandy” E. Pierce started Feb. 1 and will coordinate FirstMerit activities in Michigan as part of a pending merger with Citizens Republic Bancorp of Michigan.
Pierce, who was Midwest regional executive, president and CEO for Charter One Bank, Michigan, will also be responsible for all of Akron-based FirstMerit’s retail banking, wealth management services and corporate marketing.
Pierce will divide time between Akron and Michigan and report to FirstMerit Chairman, President and CEO Paul G. Greig.
At her Akron office, Pierce said FirstMerit’s culture and growth opportunities attracted her to the new position.
“FirstMerit is a company that has very similar values to mine. It’s very committed to its customers. It’s a Midwest bank in the process of purchasing another Midwest bank. Once the acquisition goes through, we will be a five-state Midwest bank serving customers with national product sets, but locally,” Pierce said. “Making credit decisions in the local market is becoming more and more rare.”
FirstMerit has branches in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Illinois and will add 291 offices in Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin with the merger.
Greig said, “I have known Sandy for nearly 20 years and have been very impressed with her professionalism, her accomplishments and her commitment to businesses, individuals and the communities she serves.
“Sandy’s experience with and knowledge of the Michigan banking market will be invaluable with our pending integration with Citizens as well as future growth opportunities,” Greig said.
Pierce’s career spans more than 30 years including executive positions with JPMorgan Chase, Bank One and First Chicago NBD. She holds a bachelor’s degree and MBA from Wayne State University.