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June 21, 2024

Cornerstone Bank to merge parent companies with Holyoke bank to form $6B entity

A man in a plaid grey/green suit jacket and light blue button down shakes hands with a man in a light blue suit jacket and red and white checkered button down in front of a large green shrub. Photo I Courtesy of Cornerstone Bank (from left) Todd Tallman, CEO of Worcester-based Cornerstone Bank, and Thomas Senecal, CEO and chairman of the board of PeoplesBank headquartered in Holyoke

The parent companies of Cornerstone Bank of Worcester and PeoplesBank, headquartered in Holyoke, will merge to create a $6-billion organization with 29 branches across Central and Western Massachusetts.

The combining of PeoplesBancorp and SSB Community Bancorp will create a parent company using the former’s name, PeoplesBancorp, according to a Thursday press release from Cornerstone Bank.

Cornerstone Bank has 11 branch locations with $1.6 billion in assets, and PeoplesBank has 18 banking centers with $4.4 billion in assets. Both banks will maintain their individual names and brands for the foreseeable future and will continue their standard operations with no disruption to customers. 

Cornerstone’s CEO, Todd Tallman, will become president of PeoplesBancorp while PeoplesBank Chairman and CEO Thomas Senecal will remain in his roles. PeoplesBank President Brian Canina will keep that title and assume the role of chief operating officer of the merged holding company.

“We’re excited to be joining forces with another mutual bank serving its communities with the same kind of commitment we do,” Todd Tallman said in the release. “While customers won’t see any difference in their day-to-day banking experiences, this merger offers us more scalability and strength that we can build on in the future.”

Each bank’s account information and branch banking and digital access will remain unchanged during the transaction, according to the release.

With an expected closing in the first quarter, the merger translation is contingent upon approval by the corporators of PeoplesBancorp and SSB Community Bancorp in addition to regulatory approval.

Minneapolis-based Piper Sandler, which has a Boston office, served as the financial advisor on the transaction. Washington, D.C.-based Luse Gorman served as legal counsel to PeoplesBancorp and Boston-based Nutter McClennen & Fish served as legal counsel to SSB Community Bancorp.

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