People's United Financial Inc. (NASDAQ:PBCT) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript
Jan 16, 2020 • 05:00 pm ET
Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the People's United Financial Inc Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2019 Earnings Conference Call. My name is Sherry and I'll be your coordinator for today. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Following the prepared remarks, there will be a question-and-answer session. [Operator Instructions].
I would now like to turn the presentation over to Mr. Andrew Hersom, Senior Vice President of Investor Relations for People's United Financial Inc. Please proceed, sir.
Good afternoon and thank you for joining us today. Here with me to review our fourth quarter and full year 2019 results are Jack Barnes, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; David Rosato, Chief Financial Officer; Kirk Walters, Corporate Development and Strategic Planning; Jeff Tengel, President; and Jeff Hoyt, Chief Accounting Officer. Please remember to refer to our forward-looking statements on Slide 1 of this presentation, which is posted on our website, peoples.com under Investor Relations. With that, I'll turn the call over to Jack.
John P. Barnes
Thank you, Andrew. Good afternoon. We appreciate everyone joining us today. Let's begin by turning to the full year overview on Slide 2. We are very pleased with the Company's financial and operating performance of 2019. It was another noteworthy year for People's United as we acquired two banks and a specialty finance company, enhanced our suite of banking technology and strengthened core capabilities. As a result, we continued to build the earnings power of the company while further solidifying its foundation to generate consistent and sustainable growth in the years ahead.
Commitment to our strategy of balancing organic growth and thoughtful M&A was evident during 2019. We began the year by acquiring VAR Technology, an innovative specialty finance company with an exclusive focus on the technology sector. VAR has been successfully integrated into LEAF Capital, excuse me, and transitioned from an origination-for-sale model to an origination-to-hold model. In April, we closed the acquisition of BSB Bancorp, the holding company for Belmont Bank and completed the core conversion in July. Belmont has added to the momentum our franchise is generating in the Greater Boston area. We are particularly pleased with the synergies provided by Belmont's commercial real estate team, which continues to generate strong production.
In November, we also closed the acquisition of United Financial Bancorp, the holding company for United Bank. The addition of United bolsters our already significant share of retail household and commercial clients across central Connecticut and western Massachusetts. The integration is progressing well. The core systems conversion will take place early in the second quarter and we are on track to realize projected cost saves.
Our strong results this year are a testament to the efforts of our employees, who successfully integrated VAR, completed the core system conversion for Belmont and advanced the integration of United, while continuing to deliver organic growth and enhanced profitability. This performance is further evidence that the integration of acquisitions is a significant core competency of People's United. Throughout 2019, we made further investments in