Berkshire Hills Bancorp (BHLB) in Pittsfield, Mass., has named William J. Ryan as its new chairman and said that its lead independent director, Lawrence Bossidy, is retiring from its board.

Ryan, who was chief executive of TD Banknorth and its predecessor banks from 1989 to March 2007, replaces Michael Daly, who will remain CEO of the $6 billion-asset Berkshire Hills. Daly replaced Bossidy as chairman in in January 2013.

In Ryan, Berkshire Hills is gaining one of the New England region's best-known and best-connected bankers. Ryan was a prolific dealmaker during his tenure at Portland, Maine-based Banknorth, building it into one of New England's largest banks through more than a dozen acquisitions before it was sold to Toronto-Dominion Bank.

"Under his leadership, the Banknorth team built a strong, well-regarded, and high-performance New England banking franchise," said Michael Daly, chief executive at Berkshire, in a Monday press release.

Berkshire Hills has also been aggressive acquirer over the last decade, buying six banks in New England in New York. It also recently bought 20 branches in New York from Bank of America. Its subsidiary, Berkshire Bank, now has 90 branches in Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut and Vermont.

"Berkshire's franchise is uniquely positioned in regional markets that I know well," Ryan said in the news release. "I'm convinced that we will forge ahead to achieve our objectives to gain market and wallet share, and to deliver high performance financial results."

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