M&T Bank Chairman Bob Wilmers dies at 83

Posted at 2:54 PM, Dec 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-17 15:38:27-05

Eyewitness News has learned M&T Bank Chairman Bob Wilmers unexpectedly passed overnight at the age of 83.

M&T Bank Corporation released a statement regarding his passing: 

“With deep sadness, M&T Bank Corporation (NYSE: MTB)(“M&T”) announced that Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert G. Wilmers died suddenly and unexpectedly at home late last night. He was 83. 

Bob Wilmers’ accomplishments as Chairman and CEO of M&T Bank are surpassed only by his commitment to our community, and every day he worked to fulfill his belief that the bank can only do well if the communities it serves do well,” said Mr. Brady. “He will be missed greatly by his beloved family, by the colleagues whom he respected so deeply, by his incredibly broad network of dear friends, and by all of our neighbors in M&T’s communities. Nonetheless, his legacy will live on. The management team he built at M&T is long-tenured and deeply committed to Bob Wilmers’ conservative, consistent, community-focused banking philosophy, and they will carry on that legacy, continuing to build M&T as a strong, successful and independent bank.”

They later added: 

"Mr. Wilmers has received many honors and awards for his service to the banking industry, as well as for his leadership and contributions to the Buffalo, N.Y. community, where the M&T Bank is headquartered. These awards include the Greater Buffalo Chamber of Commerce ‘Western New Yorker of the Year’ Award (1991); State University of New York at Buffalo School of Management ‘Niagara Frontier Executive of the Year’ Award (1992); The Buffalo News ‘Citizen of the Year Award’ (1987 and 1994); American Banker ‘Lifetime Achievement’ Award (2005); American Banker ‘Banker of the Year’ Award (2011); the ‘Chancellor Charles P. Norton Medal,’ the State University of New York at Buffalo’s highest honor, for civic patriotism (2015); and ‘Officier of the Legion of Honor’ by the President of France (2017)."

He was a large part of the Queen City's community. He had significant involvement with local organizations such as, Teach For America. 

Katie Campos, Executive Director of Teach for America provided us with the following statement about his death:

“Mr. Wilmers was a passionate, dedicated and humble community builder. He invested in Buffalo's people at the community level, which ultimately led to our renaissance. Mr. Wilmers taught me and many others what leading with humility means. Buffalo is better because of Mr. Wilmers, and so are we. We send our love and condolences to Mr. Wilmer's family and the many people who were close to him.”

She is one of many showing an outpouring of support for Wilmer's family. Officials and companies have spoken about his passing. 

KeyCorp CEO Beth Mooney said she knew Bob "as a banking legend, colleague, and competitor, but also as a friend." 

She also had praise for Wilmer: 

"The communities the bank serves, especially Buffalo, NY, were fortunate to have someone with Bob’s vision, values, and commitment."