New CEO to lead Northwest beyond $10B mark

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Northwest Bancshares in Warren, Pa., will get new leadership as it is poised to cross a key regulatory threshold.

William Wagner, chairman and CEO of Northwest Bancshares and its bank, will step down from both roles. Ronald Seiffert, who joined Northwest in November as president and chief operating officer, will succeed Wagner, the $9.6 billion-asset company said Friday.

"During Bill Wagner's tenure as chief executive officer, Northwest has grown significantly in both size and sophistication to become one of the 100 largest banks in the country, while simultaneously providing exceptional value to our shareholders,” Philip Tredway, the company’s lead director, said in a press release.

Wagner, who has worked at Northwest for 34 years, will continue as executive chairman until the fourth quarter. He will then retire from that role and the board.

Seiffert previously served as CEO and president of DCB Financial, which was bought by First Commonwealth Financial last year.

This change comes as Northwest has a deal pending to buy the $577 million-asset Donegal Financial Services. With that acquisition, Northwest will have more than $10 billion of assets. Passing that threshold sometimes proves to be an opportune time for an institution to switch CEOs. A number of other institutions, including Eastern Bank, Renasant and Heartland Financial, announced new leadership when they were at or near the milestone.

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