First Niagara Financial

  www.firstniagara.com
  www.firstniagara.com

First Niagara Financial Reviews

Updated 10 November, 2014
Updated 10 November, 2014
50 Reviews
2.4
50 Reviews
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First Niagara Financial President, CEO, and Director John R. Koelmel
John R. Koelmel
23 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Clear lack of direction and very poor senior level communication skills

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Team Leader in Buffalo, NY (US)
    Current Employee - Team Leader in Buffalo, NY (US)

    I have been working at First Niagara Financial full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Co-workers
    OK Salary for WNY
    OK Benefits
    Flexible time/shifts

    Cons

    Zero advancement in IT unless you come from outside the company.
    Lack of focus/too many projects in flight.
    Heavy effort to out source all services they can.
    Sr. IT Leadership are all talk/no action.
    More project mangers then they know what to do with.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start at the top and work down quick. The relationship between IT and business units is horrible and only getting worse. Pick a handful of projects and work on those to completion. Listen to the people in the trenches instead of high priced/low yield consultants.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Okay, but...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at First Niagara Financial

    Pros

    Somewhat collaborative culture.
    Decent salaries for W. New York.

    Cons

    Unintentional bait and switch...company needs to learn true strategy.
    People are nice, but the level of outside/large company experience at management/senior level hinders the company growth potential.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Company needs to restructure itself in order to clearly understand your potential career path.
    Advancement maybe possible only if you are in the right role.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    it's okay.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Teller in East Windsor, CT (US)
    Current Employee - Teller in East Windsor, CT (US)

    I have been working at First Niagara Financial part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Competitive pay, HR & Tech center is very helpful.

    Cons

    Advancement within company takes a while.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Great local and mid-level leadership

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Personal Financial Associate in Uniontown, PA (US)
    Current Employee - Personal Financial Associate in Uniontown, PA (US)

    I have been working at First Niagara Financial full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    I have great local and mid-level leadership.

    Cons

    The company is still catching up to the 21st century in some ways.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Not good

    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Teller in Pittsburgh, PA (US)
    Current Employee - Teller in Pittsburgh, PA (US)

    I have been working at First Niagara Financial part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Benefits are good ....that's about it

    Cons

    Turnover is high...company is constantly changing staff!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Practice what you preach!

  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    FNFG teller

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Back Up Head Teller in Lockport, NY (US)
    Former Employee - Back Up Head Teller in Lockport, NY (US)

    I worked at First Niagara Financial full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    you receive a paycheck every 2 weeks

    Cons

    -no opportunity for advancement even if you are more than qualified for the job openings
    -everything operates on favoritism, even if you have the best numbers you are not promoted

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get to know all employees and utilize the talent that you have, instead of promoting off of favoritism

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Lies, Lies, Lies

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Product Manager in Buffalo, NY (US)
    Current Employee - Product Manager in Buffalo, NY (US)

    I have been working at First Niagara Financial full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Parties are fun, Senior Management pumps you up with motivational fluffery.

    Cons

    Executives, Leadership Council, and Managers can not be trusted. They promote the CULTURE as outstanding. They need to stop talking to themselves. If anyone tries to provide constructive advice or make real change - they are silenced. Look at the long list of outstanding leaders who have been let go for no reason and with no notice.

    John Koelmel, the CEO is out for himself and that permeates the organization. Mr. Koelmel has FNFG pay for company events that are personal parties for him. He is a bully that is not capable of listening. As soon as someone as a different idea than his, that person is escorted from the company. I have seen it time and time again.

    The lack of integrity permeates the management ranks. They make promises they do not live up to. They are dishonest people. The Management Committee members on down will tell you how great they work together and the great culture. Then behind closed doors they put themselves first - time and time again. Do not be fooled!!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The Board of Directors needs to wake up and replace all the lying, dishonest, promise-makers who take care of themselves at the expense of customers and employees.

    Management and all employees - keep your resumes updated as you are all replaceable and your "teammates" are plotting your exit that could occur at any time.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Leadership catastrophe

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at First Niagara Financial full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    great logo colors; decent PTO; community involvement

    Cons

    Weak Leadership; Weak Organizational Development and HR departments; extremely political environment; little accountability; no infrastructure (although they are spending some major $$ just to catch up to competitive market) poor stability and portfolio ratings, ESOP plan decreased by>60% during 2012, stock price is pitiful.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Recognize that the organization can only progress to the level of the leader--the organization has been set up to become a case study for learning by neglecting to properly assess talent and culture before executing M&A activity--listen to your employees before pulling the trigger, they are your greatest assets and have the ability to fill the gaps and blindspots of management. Also, competence levels of execs needs to be evaluated--many are in way over their heads.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    No Room for Advancement. Cutthroat, High Pressure Sales Environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Assistant Branch Manager in Allentown, PA (US)
    Former Employee - Assistant Branch Manager in Allentown, PA (US)

    I worked at First Niagara Financial full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Great Benefits. 100% coverage. Decent vacation package.

    Cons

    Management plays favorites from top down.
    Fired some people for "policy violations" but not others for same "violations".
    Cutthroat environment.
    "Diversity" value prevents the company from firing under-performing employees"

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get your act together or I wouldn't be surprised to see reverse discrimination lawsuits on the horizon.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    Philly region

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Customer Service in Harleysville, PA (US)
    Former Employee - Customer Service in Harleysville, PA (US)

    I worked at First Niagara Financial full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The people I worked with daily. My vacation and flexibility since my supervisor was in Buffalo.

    Cons

    They lay people off left and right.
    They don't know the market they got into when they bought Harleysville National Bank.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Know your market and stop putting fluff in your employees ears about the culture and how great it is. Not really that great if you're laying off employees all the time. If they would have done proper due diligence they wouldn't need to lay good people off.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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