A central Massachusetts community bank chairman is throwing his money- and his position - behind an unusual effort to push through a merger.

In a bid to push a merger with a rival bank, David G. Massad, chairman of Commerce Bank and Trust Co. in Worcester, has acquired a 9.9% personal stake in competitor Safety Fund National Bank, Fitchburg. The acquisition makes him the $283 million-asset bank's largest shareholder, as well as the controlling shareholder of Commerce.

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