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Updated: August 2, 2022

KeyBank's Maine market president, Chip Kelley, to retire later this year

Chip Kelley at his desk in front of a window overlooking Portland harbor. File photo / Jim Neuger Chip Kelley, Maine market president of KeyBank, will retire at the end of November after more then 30 years in commercial banking in Maine.

Four years after taking the helm at KeyBank in Maine, Raymond T. "Chip" Kelley plans to retire at the end of November, the bank announced Monday. 

Kelley has been leading commercial sales efforts in Maine and New Hampshire since joining KeyBank in 2005. He succeeded the late Sterling Kozlowski as KeyBank's Maine market president in August 2018. Kelley was also commercial sales leader for eastern Massachusetts and the greater Boston market until 2019, when that responsibility was transferred to James Barger.

Barger was recently promoted to the bank's commercial sales executive for all of New England, with the Maine, Connecticut and Vermont market presidents all reporting to him.

Barger, who is conducting a search for Kelley's successor, plans to work with Kelley over the next few months to ensure a smooth transition. A KeyBank spokeswoman told Mainebiz the bank expects to have a successor in place prior to Kelley's departure in November.

Under Kelley's leadership in Maine, KeyBank has directed more than $436 million to communities across the state through the bank’s National Community Benefits Plan, established in 2017, according to Monday's announcement. Those investments have focused on affordable housing, home lending, small business lending and philanthropy.

“Chip has been a tremendous leader and mentor during his time at Key, effectively representing our bank in the community and unifying the go-to-market strategy of the various lines of business serving the Maine market,” Barger said. “He is a consummate banker and relationship-builder, and he has driven significant growth in our commercial banking portfolio during his tenure.” 

In a 2019 interview with Mainebiz at his Portland office, Kelley described his management style as "personable," adding: "There's a place for formality, there's a place for levity, and I think we need to appreciate everything that people bring to the job — challenge them, but also reward them."

KeyBank is owned by KeyCorp. (NYSE: KEY), a Cleveland-based financial services company with assets of $187 billion as of June 30, 3022.

In Maine, KeyBank is No. 4 among banks with the largest market share in the state, according to the 2022 Mainebiz Book of Lists, published last December. That ranking is based on $3.765 billion in Maine deposits as of June 30, 2021. 

KeyBank employs around 350 people in Maine and has 36 branches serving 12 counties. 

Long career, community service

Kelley, a graduate of Colby College, began his professional career as a prep school teacher and coach, then transitioned to banking, joining Shawmut Bank in Boston in 1985. 

He later spent two years in the early 1990s with Bank South in Atlanta, before returning to Maine in 1992. Kelley then spent 13 years at Bank of America in Portland as a commercial banking leader.

Outside of his professional roles, Kelley serves on the boards of Maine & Co., the Maine Technology Institute and Piper Shores, a Scarborough retirement community.

The KeyBank Maine leadership change-up comes a month after Brian King was promoted to Bank of America's Maine market president, succeeding Bill Williamson. Williamson is due to retire next year after more than four decades with the bank.

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