M&T Bank creates unit to lead ESG initiatives

M&T Bank has combined its corporate responsibility and sustainability functions into a new business unit and named former Chief Risk Officer John D’Angelo to lead it.

The Buffalo, N.Y., company announced Thursday the creation of an environmental, social and governance office. Its formation follows rising interest from investors, regulators, employees and communities “seeking to understand all the ways [M&T] contributes to socially conscious and environmentally sustainable practices,” Chairman and CEO René Jones said in a press release.

“As a result, we have determined that now is the time to formalize our bank-wide efforts while continuing to find ways to make a greater impact,” Jones said.

Formal ESG initiatives are well underway at big banks, in part because of mounting investor pressure to address issues such as climate change and racial inequity. Efforts are scattered at the regional bank level, but there is some traction. In recent months, U.S. Bancorp in Minneapolis created a new ESG post to oversee environmentally and socially responsible investments, while Truist Financial in Charlotte, N.C., became the first regional to issue a social bond.

The launch of M&T’s ESG office comes about a month before the $150.5 billion-asset company is due to release its inaugural ESG report, a spokeswoman said Thursday. The report will offer “greater transparency and [the company’s] plans for ESG,” the spokeswoman said.

D’Angelo, who joined M&T in 1987 and was its chief auditor for a dozen years, will be in charge of building out the bank’s ESG strategy, including its community outreach initiatives. He has been part of the company’s executive management team since 2018 and will continue reporting to Jones in his new role.

Michael Todaro, who previously led M&T’s enterprise transformation division, succeeds D’Angelo as chief risk officer.

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