Berkshire Bank and Ronald N. Lazzaro, P.C. Announce Strategic Combination

Pittsfield, MA – PITTSFIELD, MA Dec., 5, 2016 - Berkshire Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE: BHLB), and Ronald N. Lazzaro P.C., ("RNL") an independent financial planning and investment services firm based in Rutland, VT, announced the completion of an asset purchase transaction on December 2, 2016, and the launch of a strategic combination between the two firms. Under the terms of the transaction, Berkshire Bank acquired the business assets of Ronald N. Lazzaro P.C., which will expand Berkshire Bank's wealth management and investment services provided in Vermont.

Ronald N. Lazzaro P.C. has been renamed RNL & Associates, a division of BerkshireBanc Investment Services, reflecting RNL's new position as a key component of Berkshire Bank's financial planning and investment services platform. RNL & Associates offers investment management services through Commonwealth Financial Network®, a leading independent broker-dealer.

RNL & Associates will continue to provide a full suite of holistic financial planning and investment management services to individuals and families to help them prepare for retirement and pursue their financial goals. The firm will continue to work with clients nationwide, with a primary geographic focus on Vermont and the northeastern United States. RNL's current team, which includes professionals with deep expertise and top credentials in financial planning and tax advice, will also provide personal tax advisory services. The firm was founded nearly 30 years ago and is comprised of a close-knit team of three financial advisors and three support staff. The firm oversees approximately $225 million in fee-based advisory and brokerage assets.

Ronald N. Lazzaro, MBA, CPA / PFS, CFP ©, Founder and Senior Financial Advisor of RNL stated, "We are very excited to join forces with the Berkshire Bank family, and we believe that we could not have asked for a better partner to help us continue to grow our business while providing our clients with the same personalized, comprehensive service they have come to expect and appreciate. Berkshire Bank offers us and our clients a truly compelling array of benefits, utilizing the flexibility of the Commonwealth Financial Network® platform. Our clients will benefit from the additional advantages Berkshire provides, from deposit and lending solutions to more extensive individual and business insurance offerings."

As part of the new partnership, RNL & Associates will retain its current office location at 86 North Main Street in Rutland, VT. Its staff members will continue to serve clients according to the same personalized, relationship-based model RNL has employed since its founding in 1987, with an emphasis on building a family culture for clients. The transaction also positions Timothy S. O'Connor, EA, CFP © Financial Advisor, Katherine B. Brady, CFP© , Financial Advisor, Emily A. MacDonald, Financial Planning Associate, Elizabeth C. Cunningham, Investment Services Administrative Assistant and Jacquelyn L. Czachor, Administrative Assistant for continued growth by providing the firm's clients with access to expanded service offerings as part of Berkshire Bank.

Additionally, the partnership represents an expansion of Berkshire Bank's investment services and wealth management capabilities in Vermont, and is expected to benefit the Bank's organization by bringing on board a seasoned, talented team of financial advisors and support staff with decades of cumulative expertise in providing objective, comprehensive financial planning and investment management for clients in the northeastern U.S.

Heather S. Lashway, Senior Vice President, Retail Distribution Strategy of Berkshire Bank said, "We are delighted to welcome RNL & Associates to Berkshire Bank. Ron and his seasoned team bring a wealth of comprehensive financial planning and investment services experience to our wealth management platform, as well as exceptional relationships in the often-underserved Vermont market and throughout the Northeast. Equally important, they share our commitment to understanding each client's own particular needs and goals, and to providing a world-class level of service that leads to long-term customer relationships. We are pleased that all the members of the Lazzaro team will be partnering with Berkshire Bank, and we look forward to empowering them to act as a true one-stop destination for all of their clients' financial needs, from holistic wealth management and retirement planning to comprehensive banking and insurance solutions."

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 $9.0 billion in assets and 99 full service branch offices in Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey and Pennsylvania providing personal and business banking, insurance, and wealth management services. Berkshire Bank was named one of Massachusetts Most Charitable Companies in 2016 by the Boston Business Journal. To learn more, visit, call 800-773-5601 or follow us on: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

About Ronald N. Lazzaro & Associates, a Division of BerkshireBanc Investment Services

Based in Rutland, Vermont, Ronald N. Lazzaro & Associates (formerly Ronald N. Lazzaro P.C.) has provided clients in the northeastern U.S. and across the country with a full range of financial planning and investment management services since its founding in 1987. In addition to its deep wealth management capabilities, the firm leverages in-house expertise in tax planning and preparation, insurance and estate planning to meet clients' needs, and takes a unified, team-based approach to providing consistent, quality client service. Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser, fixed insurance products and services offered through RNL & Associates or CES Insurance Agency and tax preparation services offered by RNL & Associates are separate and unrelated to Commonwealth. Investments are not FDIC-insured, are not guaranteed by the Bank and are subject to risks, including possible loss of the principal invested. Berkshire Bank, BerskshireBanc Investment Services and Commonwealth Financial Network® are independent entities.

Contact: Elizabeth Mach
             Berkshire Bank
             Phone: 413-445-8390
             E-Mail: [email protected]