Regional banks have been adding some serious firepower to their boards of directors lately.

Some, mindful of their increasing compliance obligations, are appointing directors with regulatory experience. Zions Bancorp., for example, has brought in Edward Murphy, a former chief financial officer at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, while KeyCorp has named to its board David K. Wilson, a longtime risk specialist at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

Others are adding folks with technology expertise. First Niagara Financial Group, which plans to spend up to $250 million on tech upgrades in the coming years, has brought in a former chief information officer at JPMorgan Chase, Austin Adams, to help oversee that effort. Adams had to resign from his post as chairman of a North Carolina community bank to join the board of the $39 billion-asset First Niagara. Similarly, Bank of Hawaii's board has added Victor K. Nichols, a former chief information officer at Wells Fargo and North American CEO at Experian. "Victor's professional background and expertise in strategic planning and information technology will add valuable perspective to our board," Chairman and Chief Executive Peter Ho said.

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