Bridgewater Savings Bank CEO James C. Lively will retire this year after a 40-year career in banking, the bank announced this week.

Lively, who spent 33 of those year at Bridgewater Savings, will pass the baton to President and COO Peter Dello Russo on Dec. 5.

He began his career at Casco Bank and Trust Co. in Portland, Maine, and also previously worked for Milton Savings Bank, Commonwealth National Bank and Rockland Credit Union. Prior to becoming president and CEO, he held the positions of treasurer, vice president, senior vice president and executive vice president at Bridgewater Savings Bank.

Since taking up that post in 1995, the bank has grown from four branches and $100 million in assets to eight locations and more than $500 million in assets. Last year, the bank opened its first loan production office in Wrentham and a financial center in Bridgewater. Lively also spearheaded the bank’s “uncommon banking” rebranding initiative.

“I have been privileged and fortunate to have served Bridgewater Savings Bank for the past 33 years and am honored to have given back to the community where my family and I made our home,” he said in a statement. “I’ve had a unique opportunity to balance the commitment to my career while still being able to spend time with my incredibly supportive family. I want to thank them for their love and support.”

Lively is the current chairman of the board of directors of the Massachusetts Bankers Association and a member of the executive compensation committee. Previously, he served as treasurer and vice chairman. He also serves as a director and member of the audit committee of the New England Automated Clearing House (NEACH).

His successor, Dello Russo, has more than 30 years of financial management experience, including 15 years at Bridgewater Savings Bank. He was president of Mill River Mortgage Company, senior credit officer at PNC Bank, New England, and first vice president at BancBoston Mortgage Corp. He joined Bridgewater Savings as its senior commercial loan officer, was elected executive vice president and COO in 2013, and was elected president and COO on Dec. 7 of last year.

“I am honored to have been selected to succeed Jim and continue the strong legacy of Bridgewater Savings Bank,” he said in the statement. “I feel the bank is uniquely positioned to successfully work with consumers and businesses in the markets we serve.”

Bridgewater Savings CEO To Retire

by Banker & Tradesman time to read: 2 min