First Niagara Financial Group Inc. in Buffalo, N.Y., said it has hired a former Ally Financial Inc. executive as its chief financial officer.

The $21 billion-asset company said Thursday that Gregory W. Norwood will become its CFO on April 4, succeeding Michael Harrington. Harrington will become treasurer and chief investment officer.

Norwood had been the president and chief risk officer of the $70 billion-asset Ally Bank. He was also an executive risk officer at Ally's parent company, GMAC Financial Inc.

First Niagara said in August that it had agreed to buy NewAlliance Bancshares Inc. of New Haven, Conn. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter.

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