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First Niagara appoints chief credit officer

First Niagara Financial, a New York-based financial services firm, has appointed Richard Barry as chief credit officer to work from its New Haven, Connecticut office, US.

Barry, who reports to First Niagara President and CEO John Koelmel will replace the company’s current chief credit officer Kevin O’Bryan, who plans to retire in 2012.

O’Bryan will jointly work with Barry to ensure a smooth transition and support the credit risk management function through year-end.

Barry holds more than 25 years of experience in credit and banking and most recently worked with Citizens Financial, where he served as chief credit officer for wholesale banking and also worked as Market Executive for the company’s Connecticut region.

Barry also held a series of leadership positions in lending and credit with BayBank and Fleet prior to joining Citizens.