Our Bank in the News

December 5, 2006

A Yearning for Community: Former Bank of New Haven executives try to fill the need for a personal bank

by Mary Ellen Godin, Record-Journal (Meriden, CT)

Nearly a decade after the Bank of New Haven was gobbled up by Citizens Bank, two of its senior vice presidents are back in the business. Mark Candido and Richard Barredo have raised threequarters of the $10.5 million they need to create the Quinnipiac Bank & Trust Co.,

HAMDEN - Nearly a decade after the Bank of New Haven was gobbled up by Citizens Bank, two of its senior vice presidents are back in the business.

Mark Candido and Richard Barredo have raised threequarters of the $10.5 million they need to create the Quinnipiac Bank & Trust Co., a community bank aimed at serving personal banking customers and serving small- and medium-sized businesses.

The two men, both former senior vice presidents of Bank of New Haven, have a combined total of 71 years in banking in the Greater New Haven area. They sought and received a temporary charter from the state Department of Banking in January to open a community bank in the Greater New Haven area, with branches later in North Haven and New Haven.

The ultimate goal is to build along what some say is the next economic hot spot, the 1-91 corridor. "It's where we think the biggest growth is going to be," Barredo said. Barredo said the state Department of Economic and Community Development agreed with that prediction when the bank submitted its plan last year. Once they raise the $10.5 million, they plan to open an office in Hamden, and branches in New Haven and North Haven about 18 months later. Longerrange plans mention the possibility of offices in Wallingford and the southern portion of Cheshire. "There is nothing like that in greater New Haven," Barredo said. "We woke up to the reality that there were no hometown banks here," Candido said.

The mergers and acquisitions of the 1990s left many medium- and small-sized businesses with no where to turn. The larger banks, with expansive but rigid underwriting rules, didn't have the flexibility to serve many business owners and personal banking customers. A divorce may send a single woman into credit purgatory, Candido said, and a small business may have lost a partner. Larger banks can't always be creative enough to assist these customers. "They tend to look at the larger deals," Candido said. "We love to be creative."

After leaving the Bank of New Haven, Candido did some consulting work, and Barredo went on to the Connecticut Development Agency and Connecticut Innovations, where he helped raise $35 million for the biotechnology laboratory program. The men developed the idea for the bank two years ago, and set about finding directors. They approached a diverse mix of entrepreneurs who shared the community banking philosophy. Each invested $200,000 and agreed on where they wanted to take the bank. Richard H. Fitzpatrick Jr., president of Crest Auto Group in Woodbridge, did some homework after being approached. He had known Candido since his days at the Bank of New Haven, but didn't know Barredo. He queried the men's former bosses and was told "Candido plus Barredo equals three," Fitzpatrick recalls. He said it's not easy to raise money in the seven months they have been at it, but is confident they will do so, even if it means getting an extension.

As the principal operators of the Bank of New Haven, they have networked with a tremendous number of people, Fitzpatrick said. He also liked the Quinnipiac name because it was recognizable to many people in the state for the river and the university. Like Fitzpatrick, Candido approached Sallie A. De Marsilis. De Marsilis is a senior vice president for Warnaco Inc. in Milford, but her family runs a glass company in New Haven. "There is a real need for that personal touch," De Marsilis said. "There are a lot of businesses that feel they can be better represented by a community bank."

Candido and Barredo will be in Wallingford this week to pitch for more capital. More information on the company is available on the Web at www.quinnipiacbank.com.

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