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Lee Bank Announces Alliance with St. Germain Investment Management

LEE — Lee Bank President and CEO Chuck Leach announced that Lee Bank and St. Germain Investment Management have entered into a strategic alliance called October Mountain Financial Advisors, by which St. Germain will provide investment-management and financial-planning services to Berkshire County clients from its new offices in Lee.

“Lee Bank is thrilled to offer a Berkshire County-focused wealth-management platform staffed with Berkshire residents who care deeply about their customers and community,” said Leach. “We’re extremely pleased to join forces with St. Germain Investment Management as we embark on this new endeavor. Furthermore, with our recently granted trust powers, we look forward to working closely with attorneys, CPAs, and our clients on trust and estate-planning matters right here in Berkshire County.

“We have long considered tackling the wealth-management space because it’s a natural extension of what we do extremely well — building strong relationships with our customers and community,” he added. “It is logical for us to be working with St. Germain given their deep bench of talented investment professionals, most of whom I have worked closely with in the past, and their commitment to remaining independent and committed to our same core values.”

Prior to being named president and CEO of Lee Bank last July, Leach served as senior vice president/managing director of wealth management and chief investment officer at Berkshire Bank Wealth Management. Previous positions include vice president/senior portfolio manager at TD Bank Wealth Management Group and vice president of the Gilder Technology Group and the Telecosm Fund.

According to Tim Suffish, senior vice president and head of equities at St. Germain Investment Management, “we place the highest value on client relationships and locally made investment decisions, whether it’s a family’s nest egg or a nonprofit’s endowment. We believe that October Mountain Financial Advisors is well-positioned to avoid the conflicts of interest, persistent fee increases, and key person risks inherent with most investment options available today. As a long-time resident of Pittsfield, I’m thrilled to bring our highly qualified team to the Berkshire community.”

Along with Suffish, October Mountain Financial Advisors’ principal team includes St. Germain Investment Management’s Michael Matty, president and director; Richard Bleser, vice president, portfolio manager; Matthew Farkas, vice president, portfolio manager; and Thaddeus Welch, portfolio manager.

October Mountain Financial Advisors is now open for business at the bank’s branch in Lee and at St. Germain’s offices in Springfield and Hartford, Conn. October Mountain’s permanent headquarters will be located at 103 West Park St., adjacent to Lee Bank, and is slated to open in the spring following renovations to the building.

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