• Washington Trust Bancorp, Inc.
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  • Washington Trust Annual Meeting Highlights Success
    Company Release - 04/27/2010 11:59

    Recognition Paid to Retiring Chairman & CEO John C. Warren

    WESTERLY, R.I.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Washington Trust Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ Global Select; symbol: WASH), parent company of The Washington Trust Company, today held its Annual Meeting of Shareholders for the year ended December 31, 2009. The Meeting, attended by approximately 100 shareholders and guests, also marked the retirement of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John C. Warren, who is retiring effective April 30, 2010 after serving 14 years in executive management positions at Washington Trust.

    Washington Trust's current President and Chief Operating Officer Joseph MarcAurele will succeed Warren in his position. MarcAurele stated, "What's remarkable about John Warren is his incredible vision for identifying opportunities in the market, but also his discipline and focus during difficult economic times."

    This vision and focus were highlighted in today's Meeting as executives discussed Washington Trust's solid growth in 2009, including double-digit increases in commercial lending and wealth management assets under management, as well as excellent growth in both deposits and mortgage lending activity. Washington Trust's physical presence also expanded in 2009 with the opening of the Governor Francis branch in Warwick and a mortgage office in Sharon, Mass.

    David V. Devault, executive vice president, chief financial officer, and secretary, reviewed the Corporation's significant results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2010, stating, "We experienced continued growth in loans and deposits and our wealth management business showed strong improvement. Our asset quality remains sound and our capital ratios have risen."

    According to MarcAurele, Washington Trust will continue to explore opportunities to grow the company either through organic growth or strategic acquisitions. "We are operating in a difficult and ever-changing environment, but I can assure you Washington Trust is well-positioned for further success. We have a great management team, an outstanding reputation, and the right products to compete against all institutions."

    Warren's tenure marked by exemplary leadership and great accomplishments

    A key component of the Meeting was the recognition of John C. Warren and his contributions to Washington Trust. Under his steady guidance, Washington Trust has evolved from a South County, Rhode Island bank with assets of $695 million to one of the Northeast's premier diversified financial services companies with $2.9 billion in assets. During his tenure, the Bank made four strategic acquisitions, grew its market share and expanded its branch network. As a result, it is now the largest independent bank headquartered in Rhode Island. In addition, the Corporation's wealth management area now has four offices and $3.9 billion in assets under management, compared to $539 million in 1996.

    Warren has also made his mark among employees and in the community during his tenure -- imparting great vision for growth and establishing programs, services and initiatives that enhance the lives of employees, customers and 'neighbors' - all while staying true to the core values of the Bank.

    MarcAurele added, "What compliments John's vision and leadership is his deep commitment to the corporate culture he established - one in which the core values of quality, community and integrity are upheld. John truly believes that 'people matter' and his decisions are based on what's right for his employees, customers and the communities the Bank serves."

    Warren's belief in the corporate culture are reflected in the initiatives he crafted during his administration, including a 'family friendly' benefits package to meet the needs of a changing workforce, a generous educational benefits program, providing all employees with the opportunity to further their education, and a program to recognize and reward employees for community service and volunteerism.

    Warren's commitment to a strong and supportive workplace has not gone unnoticed. On his watch, Washington Trust has earned a number of awards. He is an exemplary corporate citizen who serves as a board member for a number of civic, professional, and charitable organizations, and his entrenchment in the community is frequently recognized. Warren was the recipient of the 2004 Humanitarian Award from the National Conference for Community and Justice, the 2005 Community Service Award from Leadership Rhode Island, and the 2006 Business Leadership Award from the Providence Business News. Additionally, Warren was named an honorary Doctor of Business Administration by Bryant University in 2008 and received the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award from the National Eagle Scout Association.

    The South Kingstown resident is a native of Natick, Mass., and a graduate of Yale University. He also completed the Program for Management Development at the Harvard Business School.

    During the business portion of the meeting, Barry G. Hittner, Esq., Katherine W. Hoxsie, CPA, Edward M. Mazze Ph.D., Kathleen E. McKeough and John C. Warren were elected to the Corporation's Board of Directors for terms ending in 2013. In addition, Neil H. Thorp, who retired from the board, was recognized for his 27 years of service. In other business, shareholders ratified the selection of KPMG LLP as the independent registered public accounting firm for the Corporation for the current fiscal year ending December 31, 2010.

    The audio and slides of the Annual Meeting are available on Washington Trust's Web site at www.washtrust.com, by selecting the Investor Relations section and then clicking on Presentations.

    About Washington Trust Bancorp:

    Washington Trust Bancorp, Inc. is the parent of The Washington Trust Company, a state-chartered bank headquartered in Westerly, Rhode Island. Founded in 1800, Washington Trust is the oldest community bank in the nation and is the largest independent bank headquartered in Rhode Island. Washington Trust offers a full range of financial services, including commercial banking, small business banking, personal banking, and wealth management and trust services through its offices located in Rhode Island, southeastern Connecticut and eastern Massachusetts. The Corporation's common stock trades on The NASDAQ Global Select(R) Stock Marketunder the symbol WASH. Investor information is available on the Corporation's web site: www.washtrust.com.

    Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=6266207&lang=en

        Source: Washington Trust Bancorp, Inc.

    Contact: Washington Trust Bancorp, Inc. Elizabeth B. Eckel, 401-348-1309 Senior Vice President, Marketing E-mail: ebeckel@washtrust.com