Daniel E. Cantara


Daniel Cantara is a financial services professional who most recently was Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Banking Officer for First Niagara Financial Group and its subsidiary, First Niagara Bank, N.A.

First Niagara, through its wholly owned subsidiary, First Niagara Bank, N.A., is a multi-state community-oriented bank with nearly 430 branches, approximately $35 billion in assets, $28 billion in deposits, and approximately 6,000 employees providing financial services to individuals, families and businesses across Upstate New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

As Client Banking Officer, Mr. Cantara was responsible for oversight and leadership of all of First Niagara’s customer-facing businesses including Commercial Services, Consumer Finance and Retail Banking operations. This included traditional lending and banking services, specialty lending (commercial real estate, equipment finance, government banking, asset-based lending, and health care), risk management and insurance services, capital markets, wealth management and private banking.  In addition, Dan had responsibility for all consumer lending products including residential mortgages, home equity loans, credit cards and other direct and indirect consumer loan products.

Prior to joining First Niagara, Mr. Cantara was with Chiampou, Cantara, Travis & Dansa, LLP, a Buffalo-area regional public accounting firm, where he served as managing partner.  Prior to that, he was with Price Waterhouse Coopers providing audit, accounting, tax, and consulting services to middle-market companies.


  • BA, Accounting, State University of New York at Buffalo
  • MBA, State University of New York at Buffalo


  • Member, Dean’s International Council Executive Committee, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago
  • Member, University of Buffalo School of Management Dean’s Advisory Council
  • Member, Buck Institute for Research on Aging, Buck Advisory Council
  • Board Member, Darwin Martin House Restoration Corp.
  • Board Member, Richardson Center Corporation, Richardson Architecture Center, Inc.
  • Board Member, Albright Knox Art Gallery
  • Board Member, Buffalo Niagara Partnership
  • Former Chair, Artpark & Company


Mr. Cantara currently resides in Buffalo, NY, with his wife, Lori, and their two children.

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