Updated April 1 at 8:01am

Sale will boost BankRI’s commercial-lending capacity

‘Only a handful of positions…will be eliminated.’

Mark J. Meiklejohn is Bank Rhode Island’s new president and CEO. He was appointed to the position on Jan. 3, after serving as the executive vice president and chief lending officer. Before the promotion, he was responsible for all commercial-lending areas, as well as business development, the lending-services unit, cash management and Macrolease, Bank Rhode Island’s Long Island-based equipment-leasing company. More

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NEWSMAKERS

Sale will boost BankRI’s commercial-lending capacity

‘Only a handful of positions…will be eliminated.’

Posted:

Mark J. Meiklejohn is Bank Rhode Island’s new president and CEO. He was appointed to the position on Jan. 3, after serving as the executive vice president and chief lending officer. Before the promotion, he was responsible for all commercial-lending areas, as well as business development, the lending-services unit, cash management and Macrolease, Bank Rhode Island’s Long Island-based equipment-leasing company.

He was promoted when BankRI’s parent company, Bancorp Rhode Island Inc., a $1.6 billion bank-holding company, was purchased by Brookline Bancorp Inc.

As the newly appointed president and CEO, his immediate goal is to achieve a smooth transition with Brookline Bancorp. He believes it will be seamless and that the acquisition gives BankRI a very bright future.

PBN: Bank Rhode Island’s parent company, Bancorp Rhode Island, was just purchased by Brookline Bancorp Inc. Tell us about the acquisition process.

MEIKLEJOHN: The two sides came together pretty quickly. The initial purchase was announced last April. Obviously there were shareholder approvals, regulatory approvals and the like. The final sale was announced on Jan. 1.

PBN: How did BankRI and Brookline Bancorp fare during the acquisition? What have BankRI’s strengths been?

MEIKLEJOHN: What I can safely say in general terms is that BankRI is quite happy with 2011 from the perspective that we had nice deposit growth and loan growth. Our sales team and customer staff were unaffected by activities around the merger and were able to help the bank with its growth. I feel like we haven’t missed a beat.

Generally speaking, loans in the entire banking sector have started to stabilize so things are starting to look better.

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