Pittsfield, MA, September 1, 2015 – Berkshire Bank, America’s Most Exciting Bank®, recently named five key personnel to lead and manage its sophisticated Wealth Management team which delivers investment solutions to individuals, companies, government organizations, and nonprofit organizations.
The appointments include naming Richard Bleser as Senior Vice President, Chief Investment Officer, Jason Edgar as Senior Vice President, Wealth Portfolio Manager and Regional leader – New England, Mary Ellen Cologero as Senior Vice President, Wealth Portfolio Manager and Regional Leader - New York, Janice Ward, Esq., CFP® as First Vice President, Wealth Advisor and Senior Fiduciary Officer, and Elizabeth Gore to First Vice President, Trust Operations and Compliance, all effective immediately.
Bleser has served Berkshire Bank as its SVP Portfolio Manager since joining the firm in 2010 from Meridian Capital Partners, Inc., where he was responsible for macroeconomic, S&P 500 and hedge fund analysis. He will lead Berkshire’s investment portfolio management efforts, working closely with Ms. Cologero and Mr. Edgar. He holds a BS degree in Economics and Business Administration from the State University of New York at Albany.
Edgar joined Berkshire as a Senior Portfolio Manager in 2014 after several years with Enterprise Investment Advisor, a division of Enterprise Bank. He will lead Berkshire Bank’s Wealth Management initiatives for the New England region, while working closely with Bleser and Cologero on the investment portfolio. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut and is currently enrolled in the Certified Investment Manager Association℠ (CIMA®) program through the Wharton School of Business.
Cologero will lead Berkshire Bank’s Wealth Management initiatives for the New York region, while working closely with Bleser and Edgar on the investment portfolio. Having over 25 years of investment experience, she joined the team as a Senior Portfolio Manager from Key Bank where she served as SVP, Senior Portfolio Manager. She holds a CFP® Certification from the College for Financial Planning and a Certificate from the School of Advanced Financial Management and is currently enrolled in the Certified Investment Manager Association℠ (CIMA® program through the Wharton School of Business.
Ward has served Berkshire as a Wealth Advisor and Senior Fiduciary Officer since joining the bank in 2012 from Greenfield Savings Bank; she received her Juris Doctor from Western New England University and her BS/BA from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. She works primarily with Trust and Estate clients, oversees the fiduciary activities, and focuses on financial planning. She obtained her designation as a Certified Financial Planner℠ in 2011.
Bringing more than 34 years of banking experience, 22 of which were in Berkshire Bank’s Trust Operations, Gore oversees all aspects of operations and compliance for the Wealth Management Group and currently manages the Lenox Wealth Management Office and assists clients on a daily basis. She is a graduate of New England School of Banking at Williams College with a degree in Trust Banking.
The Berkshire Bank Wealth Management team includes dedicated wealth advisors, portfolio managers, and an attorney, along with three Certified Financial Planner™ on staff, plus dedicated support personnel. Berkshire Bank pledges a commitment to providing extraordinary services on a local level with investment, fiduciary and financial planning needs available to its clients administered from local Wealth Management offices, its branch network, or in clients’ homes and offices.
About Berkshire Bank
Berkshire Hills Bancorp (NYSE: BHLB) is the parent of Berkshire Bank, America’s Most Exciting Bank®. The Company, recognized for its entrepreneurial approach and distinctive culture, has $7.5 billion in assets and 93 full service branch offices in Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, and Vermont providing personal and business banking, insurance, and wealth management services. In 2014, Berkshire Bank was named one of Massachusetts’ Most Charitable Companies by the Boston Business Journal. To learn more, visit www.berkshirebank.com or call 800-773-5601. Berkshire Bank is the official bank of the Boston Bruins coverage on NESN.