Michael Pinto, M&T Vice Chairman, Dies at 58 After Illness

Michael P. Pinto, a Wharton School graduate who rose to vice chairman of M&T Bank Corp. in a 29-year career with the Buffalo, New York-based lender, has died. He was 58.

He died on April 22 at his home in Baltimore after an extended illness, according to Michael Zabel, a spokesman for M&T. The family hasn’t released any additional information, he said. In January, Pinto resigned from the board because of undisclosed health reasons.

At M&T, Buffalo’s biggest bank, Pinto served in several leadership roles including executive vice president, chief financial officer and vice chairman. He was among other executives being groomed to possibly succeed Chief Executive Officer Robert Wilmers, according to analysts such as Joseph Fenech at Sandler O’Neill & Partners LP.

“Mike helped build M&T -- not just in size, but in strength and stability as well,” Wilmers said yesterday in a statement. “Throughout his tenure, Mike has been both a conscience and a compass, helping to instill the values that define who we are and what we do, while playing a leading role in charting the course of the bank’s strategic direction.”

Michael Patrick Pinto was born in India to Adelaide and Patrick J. Pinto. He graduated from the University of Delhi and, in 1985, earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School in Philadelphia, according to the statement.

Entire Career

Pinto then joined M&T, where he spent his entire career.

“I was lucky enough to know Mike personally and professionally,” said Gary Crosby, CEO of First Niagara Financial Group Inc., also based in Buffalo. “He was a wonderful person and an outstanding professional -- generous and brilliant.”

In January, Pinto stepped down from M&T’s board. Chief Financial Officer Rene F. Jones and Executive Vice President Kevin J. Pearson were named vice chairmen.

Pinto was a trustee of the Baltimore Community Foundation, Mercy Health Services Inc. and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

His survivors include his wife of 34 years, Priya E. Pinto; their children, Alok P. Pinto and Ruchika C. Thiru; a brother, Francis; a sister, Marie Christine D’Souza; and his mother, according to a notice in the Baltimore Sun.

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