Norwich ― Anthony “Tony” Joyce fell into banking some 40 years in the past.
He’s, he mentioned, “an unintended banker.”
And a profitable one, too, as evidenced by his rise to the highest spot at Chelsea Groton Financial institution, the place he took over Jan. 1 as president and chief government officer, succeeding Michael Rauh, who retired after 12 years on the financial institution’s helm.
Recent out of the UConn College of Enterprise in 1983, Joyce wasn’t fairly certain what path to observe. With lots of his friends eyeing the insurance coverage business, a household good friend steered him towards banking and a job with the Norwich Financial savings Society, now Folks’s United Financial institution.
It was fortuitous course.
Dan Dennis, then the Norwich Financial savings Society president and chief government officer, turned a mentor, strongly encouraging Joyce to take a course in business lending.
“I fell in love with business lending,” Joyce mentioned throughout an interview at Chelsea Groton’s Norwich department, which is serving because the financial institution’s headquarters whereas its constructing on Poquonnock Street in Groton undergoes a makeover.
“It offers you a chance to make use of your analytical expertise, your training, plus your interpersonal expertise” Joyce mentioned. “Within the morning, you could be speaking to a mortician, then a developer within the afternoon and a automobile supplier at night time. When a buyer has an concept and also you assist them obtain it, you are feeling such as you a hand in getting one thing constructed.”
“It’s the most effective job on this planet,” he mentioned.
A lover of the outside and an avid fly fisherman, Joyce mentioned if he hadn’t fallen into banking he’d in all probability be a conservation officer.
Joyce, 61, spent 21 years with Norwich Financial savings Society/Folks’s, then six years at Japanese Connecticut Financial savings Financial institution and three at Dime Financial savings Financial institution earlier than becoming a member of Chelsea Groton in 2013.
“Tony and I first met 11 or 12 years in the past once we each had been on the NCDC (Norwich Group Growth Corp.) board,” Rauh recalled. “I knew immediately that I used to be going to rent him by some means, a way.”
At Chelsea Groton, Joyce has served as a business mortgage officer and a senior lending officer, and in 2020 was named chief working officer, a job during which he was groomed to take over as CEO.
“At his core, he’s only a terrific human being,” Rauh mentioned. “So, you begin with that ― and he’s bought large banking expertise. You don’t have to deliver somebody in from the skin should you’ve bought any individual like Tony on the within. It’s been a seemless transition.”
Joyce was born in New London and lived on Blackhall Courtroom till his household moved to Waterford when he was 7 years outdated. He graduated from St. Bernard College in Uncasville, and met his spouse, Lori, in school. They’ve two grown daughters, Juli, a trainer, and Mandy, a doctor assistant at Backus Hospital in Norwich.
His familiarity with the area will serve Joyce nicely as financial institution president, in response to Tony Sheridan, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Japanese Connecticut. Joyce has served as vice chairman of the chamber’s board of administrators since 2021.
“He’s an ideal match for the (Chelsea Groton) job,” Sheridan mentioned of Joyce. “I depend on him to verify our funds are in fine condition. He is aware of not solely the banking business, however the entire monetary world very, very nicely.”
Sheridan mentioned the affable Joyce is “forthcoming and considerate in his method, which makes it simple for anybody to succeed in out to him.”
“I count on Chelsea Groton will develop below his management,” Sheridan added.
“Street-tested” after two years as COO, Joyce mentioned he’s now been uncovered to each facet of the banking enterprise.
“I believe I’m a individuals individual,” he mentioned. “I spend plenty of time with the ‘staff.’ We’ve bought an important tradition right here and we’ve all had a hand in creating it.”
A mutual financial institution that responds to clients versus shareholders, Chelsea Groton has 225 staff, 13 full-service branches and one loan-application heart in addition to $1.5 billion in belongings, in response to Joyce. Its deposits signify 19% of the New London County market.
Whereas poised for progress, the financial institution has no present plans to develop its footprint, Joyce mentioned.
“We need to proceed to be a drive in southeastern Connecticut,” he mentioned. “Our dedication to clients is to tackle their objectives as in the event that they had been our personal. We’ve bought on-line banking, cell deposits, controls on debit playing cards and on-line mortgage purposes. The dichotomy is individuals nonetheless worth face-to-face interactions ― business lending is an efficient instance of that.”
“We’ve to make every thing obtainable,” Joyce mentioned.