Berkshire Hills Bancorp (BHLB) has hired a team of five away from TD Bank to open its first commercial banking office in eastern Massachusetts.

The $5.3 billion-asset company said Thursday that it has named Brant McDougall senior vice president and commercial team leader, based in the bank's Woburn office. He will be joined by Christopher DeFronzo, John Malvey and Joanne Tercho as vice presidents and commercial relationship managers, and Carol Hamilton as senior vice president and commercial relationship manager. McDougall and Hamilton will report to Paul Flynn, senior vice president and asset-based lending manager.

All five come from TD Bank, where they specialized in commercial lending in eastern Massachusetts. McDougall was commercial team leader at TD Bank's Burlington, Mass., office, working with DeFronzo, Malvey and Tercho.

The five new hires, who start Monday, represent a new focus on commercial lending in eastern Massachusetts for Berkshire Hills. The bank has commercial lending teams at its home office of Pittsfield, in the far western part of the state, and in Westborough, in the center, a spokeswoman said. In the eastern part of the state, Berkshire Hills has an asset-based lending team at its Woburn office and retail lending operations that it added through its acquisition of Greenpark Mortgage last year.

Executive vice president of commercial banking Patrick Sullivan said of his new hires, in a press release, "They work extremely well together in finding the right mix of commercial products and services to meet the financial needs of various types of businesses. Their collective experience will serve us well as we expand our commercial business lending in eastern Massachusetts."

This is not the first time Berkshire Hills has hired a commercial banking team from a larger rival. It plucked a group of commercial bankers from Sovereign Bancorp in 2011.

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