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M&T Bank Delaware leader Lambrow to retire

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Nick Lambrow M&T Bank

Nick Lambrow, the longtime Delaware market president for M&T Bank, will retire on July 1. | PHOTO COURTESY OF M&T BANK

WILMINGTON – Nick Lambrow, the Delaware regional president for M&T Bank who has led the bank here since its acquisition of the former Wilmington Trust consumer bank, announced Tuesday that he will retire July 7.

In his more than 12 years at the local helm of one of the largest consumer banks in the state, Lambrow has navigated a complicated transition from the once ubiquitous Wilmington Trust consumer brand to one solely used by its institutional investment arm, expanded the Buffalo, N.Y.-based M&T’s tech center in Wilmington and contributed mightily to the bank’s community service in the state.

He told Delaware Business Times on Tuesday that he’d been considering retirement for about the last six months after 43 years in the banking industry. Now felt like the right time to step down and start the next phase of his life, including traveling more, Lambrow said.

“I’ve had an amazing career at M&T and have a lot of great memories and appreciation for the outstanding work of all my friends and colleagues in the bank,” he said.

A search for a successor in Wilmington is still underway, according to M&T Bank, which expects to name that individual in the coming weeks.

Lambrow joined the former First National Bank of Maryland back in 1980, entering its management program out of college and becoming a branch manager. He worked his way through consumer banking, commercial lending and business banking roles leading up to the then-Allfirst Bank’s acquisition by M&T Bank in 2003, after which he led the Chesapeake region from Annapolis, Md.

When M&T Bank reached a deal to acquire the embattled Wilmington Trust, Lambrow recognized the major coup for his employer, gaining a bank with a strong market share and respected institutional and capital market services.

“It was a really intriguing challenge for me that I decided to take,” he said, noting he and his wife relocated to downtown Wilmington to oversee the transition. “I didn’t know anybody, and M&T really wasn’t that known. So those challenges took a lot of energy, but it was all positive and we’ve built a really strong leadership team here that I’m very proud of.”

M&T Bank Delaware Market President Nick Lambrow, left, hired fintech veteran Alexandr Vinokurov to lead growth efforts in Wilmington’s tech center. | PHOTO COURTESY OF M&T BANK

In entering a market for the first time and taking over a well-known brand, Lambrow said it was important for M&T to show its commitment off the bat. The Wilmington Trust investment arm has grown five-fold in revenue since M&T took over, retaining hundreds of employees here. M&T has invested $25 million into its Millsboro data and customer support center, and increased its workforce eight-fold at its Wilmington Tech Center that aims to modernize and maintain online services.

With 40 branches across the state, M&T continues to be the largest brick-and-mortar bank in the state at a time when many competitors are paring back their physical presence.

“It is important because we do focus on what the client experience should be. There are times when having a face-to-face interaction really makes a difference, and we see that every day,” he said.

After leading the Delaware market efforts in M&T for the last decade, Lambrow said that he continues to be as bullish on the market as the day he arrived.

“Delaware is really a small business and business banking-type state when you really break down the statistics,” he said, noting that M&T continues to rank first in the number of U.S. Small Business Administration loans processed in the state. “We’re proud of that fact only because it represents our support of small businesses, and we want to be the bank for business.”

Nick Lambroew M&T Bank Tim Henkel Pennrose Imani Village REACH Riverside

Timothy Henkel, left, CEO of Pennrose, talks with M&T Bank Delaware Market President Nick Lambrow at the ribbon cutting for Imani Village in Wilmington, which M&T helped finance. | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS

Aside from his role at M&T, Lambrow has also been heavily involved in service on nonprofit boards, including ChristianaCare, Winterthur and the Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement, but especially economic development and business efforts. He has served on the boards for the Delaware Business Roundtable and the Delaware Prosperity Partnership and is the current chair of the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce. Lambrow said the service was “something he loves to do.”

“I needed to get to know the business community and the business leaders across the state to make sure I understood and was doing the right thing in our community and also to demonstrate our commitment to the community,” he said. “I’m really impressed with how the leadership in Delaware has organized themselves.”

For Kurt Foreman, the president and CEO of the Delaware Prosperity Partnership, the state’s public-private economic development organization, Lambrow has “been a fabulous proponent of Delaware, enthusiastically committing his time and energy toward making this state a vibrant place to do business.

“His energy and leadership and the insights he has offered as a senior executive with one of the most significant banks and employers in Delaware have proven invaluable to groups throughout the state. Actively serving as a board member since our founding in 2017, Nick has made a meaningful and lasting impact on both DPP and economic development in Delaware. We will miss him greatly, but we wish him well with whatever he chooses to do in his retirement,” he added.

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