Five Questions With Keith Kelly

1. What would you say is most challenging about serving as Citizens’ Rhode Island president? The new position has given me an opportunity to play a greater role bankwide. I’ve spent my career as a commercial banker working with middle-market and large companies, and as state president I have developed a deeper understanding for the consumer side of the bank. We focus on creating a great experience for all of our customers and helping them reach their potential and I now have a greater appreciation for how we are working with all of our customers.

2. What are your personal and professional goals for the position? I want to represent Citizens Bank in the community to the best of my ability. As president, that includes helping get the word out about our remarkable colleagues in Rhode Island. Our Rhode Island colleagues volunteered 36,000 hours of their time with charitable organizations across the state last year. We’re building a wonderful campus in Johnston that will be home for 3,200 colleagues, so we’re really doubling down on our longtime commitment here.

3. What most challenges the Rhode Island economy and its businesses? Rhode Island is a great place to do business with a lot of advantages, including great schools, an excellent quality of life and a desirable location. There are a lot of leading companies here creating jobs and playing active roles in the community. We share challenges with many states, including adapting to the changing global economy, capitalizing on our strengths and developing our workforce. However, we are lucky to have strong civic and business leaders who are moving us forward.

4. What are its greatest strengths? I think some of Rhode Island’s greatest strengths are its people and its natural advantages. Its universities attract students from around the world who bring new energy and an entrepreneurial spirit to a state that has continuously evolved and remade itself.

- Advertisement -

5. Are there any specific business lines in Rhode Island you’d like to see grow at a greater pace under your leadership? I think it’s more about helping our clients achieve their overall goals than about growth in specific business lines. We are adding capabilities every day to help our clients, such as student-loan and wealth-management products on the consumer side. We are also expanding M&A, treasury management and global-markets capabilities for our commercial clients.