Release Date: September 21, 2022
BUFFALO, N.Y. — The University at Buffalo School of Management will honor René F. Jones, chairman and CEO of M&T Bank, as the 2022 Buffalo Niagara Executive of the Year.
Jones will accept his award at the 72nd annual UB School of Management Alumni Association Awards Ceremony, beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 1 at the Center for the Arts on UB’s North Campus.
At the ceremony, the school will also recognize the following alumni for their career and impact:
Established in 1949, the Buffalo Niagara Executive of the Year award is presented annually to an individual who resides in or has a major impact on the region, and whose career has been distinguished by executive success and civic leadership. Jones was selected by a vote of past honorees and the alumni association’s board of directors.
Jones is the chairman and chief executive officer of M&T Bank, a Buffalo-based bank that has grown into a community-focused banking franchise with more than $200 billion in assets and a network of more than 1,000 branches and 22,000 team members across the eastern United States. Since taking the helm in December 2017, Jones has steered M&T through the COVID-19 pandemic and its acquisition of People’s United Financial, a merger valued at $8.3 billion.
Under Jones’ leadership, M&T has also doubled down on its mission: to make a difference in people’s lives and uplift the communities it serves — including Buffalo, where the bank has remained headquartered since it was founded here in 1856 to fund the growth happening in the city. Last year, M&T announced a five-year, $43 billion Community Growth Plan to create greater economic opportunity for low- to moderate-income families and neighborhoods, as well as people and communities of color. In addition, over the past year, the company has significantly grown its multicultural banking initiative and launched a Multicultural Small Business Innovation Lab to support business owners on the East Side of Buffalo.
Born and raised in Ayer, Massachusetts, Jones began his career in accounting at Ernst & Young and a private equity firm. He first joined M&T in 1992 as an executive associate. By 2005, Jones was named chief financial officer and joined M&T’s team of executive leaders responsible for the company’s strategic direction.
A member of the UB Council, Jones is active in the business community, serving on the boards of ACV, Boston College, the Jacobs Institute and the Massachusetts Historical Society. He also works to advance the banking industry as a director for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and a board member for the Bank Policy Institute.
As one of only a few Black CEOs in the Fortune 500, Jones is passionate about equity of opportunity, both within and outside of M&T Bank. He serves as a steward of the Council for Inclusive Capitalism and on the capital advisory committee of Aux21, a seed-stage firm investing in the future of global commerce with a focus on companies led by immigrant founders.