Story Produced by Business NH Magazine, a Member of
BEDFORD, NH – William Stone, the founding president and CEO of Primary Bank who has led the Bedford-based bank for more than nine years, departed the bank on Tuesday, according to Thomas Conaton, executive vice president of the bank.
Primary Bank’s Board Chairman William Greiner was named interim CEO.
Greiner says discussions about Stone’s departure from the bank have been going on behind the scenes with executives for some time. He says the bank’s board will not decide who the bank’s new CEO will be until 2024 following routine bank exams by the FDIC and the NH Banking Department. Part of those exams, he adds, include looking at the bank’s safety regarding capital and at loans provided to board members and that Stone will be a part of the exam process.
Stone was named Primary Bank’s first president and CEO in 2015, the first bank in NH to open since the banking collapse in 2008. Primary Bank has $700 million in assets and is one of the smaller community banks in the state, focusing on medium-sized businesses and their owners, nonprofits and professional service firms.
Greiner, who is the co-owner of Copper Door, T-Bones and Cactus Jack’s restaurants, and owner of Greiner investments, led the charge in 2015 to open a new local bank. “I had no banking experience other than making deposits and withdrawals at banks and [Bill] provided the knowledge and expertise,” Greiner says, adding the two remain good friends. “He gets to make his own decisions.”
According to a July 2015 article in Business NH Magazine, Greiner says he wanted to start the new bank due to his frustration dealing with banks headquartered out of state that had funded his real estate projects until the recession and then refused to lend because of their own exposure during the financial crisis.
Prior to Primary Bank, Stone served as a member of the board of directors and as president of Bank of New England (originally Southern NH Bank). He was with Bank of New England for 17 years.
Primary Bank was recognized as the healthiest bank in NH in 2021, according to DepositAccounts.com and S&P Global Market Intelligence ranked Primary Bank the #1 performing community bank in the Northeast with assets under $10 billion.
Primary Bank is headquartered in Bedford and has branches in Nashua and Manchester.
(Editor’s Transparency Note: Business NH Magazine has a loan through Primary Bank.)