Experts: Changes Coming for First Niagara

March 20, 2013 Updated Mar 20, 2013 at 10:21 PM EDT

By Rachel Elzufon

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March 20, 2013 Updated Mar 20, 2013 at 10:21 PM EDT

Buffalo, NY (WKBW) - After a year of rapid growth, First Niagara is entering yet another period of change -- a sudden shake-up of leadership.

President and CEO John Koelmel is out, in what the bank says is a "mutual decision" announced Tuesday.

Wednesday, the stock for First Niagara was up more than four percent. That happened day one under interim President Gary Crosby.

Experts say the bank is heading in a new direction.

Kenneth Wolf, a financial advisor for Next Financial Group, explains that "Some CEO's are more operational, where they're in a place more to run a place efficiently and effectively. Some are more tied to mergers and acquisitions and growth of a company."

John Koelmel, who left in a mutual decision with the company, skyrocketed the company's growth, buying almost 200 HSBC branches worth nearly $200 billion. Koelmel took First Niagara from a nine billion dollar bank to having $40 billion in assets and $29 billion in deposits.

Cristian Tiu, an Assistant Professor in Finance at University at Buffalo, says "It's possible that there's hype over whether this is a good or bad move, so we can expect some volatility as well."

The transition period could be shaky in the stock market. Experts say it could lead to layoffs and closure of some branches. However, they add all this is normal for big companies going through big changes.

Long term, experts say the bank should balance out.

Wolf explains " If they look at balance sheets and they see expenditures are unnecessary in certain areas, that's where they need to focus and fine tune."

He adds "People are afraid of the unknown, but you're going to find that the everyday operation of the bank is business as usual."

Channel 7 reached out to Koelmel. He did not return our calls for a comment.