Webster Financial Corp. in Waterbury, Conn., has promoted Chief Operating Officer Gerald P. Plush to president of the company and its Webster Bank subsidiary, effective immediately.

Plush, who will remain COO and will continue to report to Chairman and Chief Executive James C. Smith, has also been elected to the bank's board of directors.

"Jerry's well-earned promotion recognizes his many contributions to Webster's progress and underscores the importance of his role," Smith said in a news release Thursday. "Jerry is significantly involved in developing and executing our strategic and financial plans and creating value for our shareholders."

Plush joined Webster in 2006 as chief financial officer after 11 years with MBNA America. He was promoted to COO and vice chairman earlier this year.

Webster is the second-largest banking company based in Connecticut with $18 billion of assets and 168 branches in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut.

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