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Division of Banks Policy Group

The Division of Banks' (DOB) Policy Group oversees all regulatory matters, directs day to day operations, and conducts the agency's strategic planning. The below individuals serve as members of the Policy Group.

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Policy group overview

The DOB's Policy Group is chaired by the Commissioner of Banks. The Policy Group meets regularly.

The goals of the Policy Group are:

  • Oversee all regulatory matters involving the DOB
  • Direct the DOB's day-to-day operations
  • Conduct the DOB's strategic planning efforts

Mary L. Gallagher, Commissioner of Banks

Mary Gallagher was appointed Commissioner of Banks in May 2019.  Before being appointed Commissioner Ms. Gallagher served as the DOB's Chief Operating Officer. As Chief Operating Officer, Ms. Gallagher oversaw the agency's operational and administrative team, including fiscal oversight, budget and accounting, human resources and staff development, information technology and security, facilities, and vendor management and procurement. She also co-chaired DOB’s strategic planning and was a member of the agency’s Policy Group.  

Before joining the DOB, Ms. Gallagher spent 17 years in the financial services and securities industry in Boston, New York, and London. Her work included foreign exchange and equity market sales and trading roles at Morgan Stanley, State Street Global Markets, and Deutsche Bank Alex Brown. Ms. Gallagher holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from Harvard University.

Cynthia A. Begin, First Deputy Commissioner

Cynthia Begin, Esq. was appointed First Deputy Commissioner in May 2019.  Prior to her appointment, Ms. Begin served as Chief Risk Officer for the DOB since 2011. Ms. Begin has spent more than 24 years in financial services regulation at the DOB. She is responsible for the oversight of regulated banks, credit unions, and over 9,000 non-depository licensees as well as the agency’s Enforcement and Investigation Unit. Ms. Begin has also served as a Senior Deputy Commissioner and as the DOB's Assistant General Counsel. 

Prior to joining the DOB, Ms. Begin worked as Vice President and Legal Counsel for the Massachusetts Share Insurance Corporation and at a Worcester-based bank holding company. Ms. Begin serves as a board member and past president of the American Association of Residential Mortgage Regulators, and is a recipient of the 2014 Distinguished Service Award. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Nichols College and a Juris Doctorate from Suffolk University Law School.

Merrily S. Gerrish, Deputy Commissioner and General Counsel

Merrily Gerrish was appointed Deputy Commissioner and General Counsel at the DOB in 2013. In this role, Ms. Gerrish oversees the Legal Unit which handles all corporate transactions as well as reviewing pending legislation and drafting legislative changes. Ms. Gerrish also oversees the drafting of legal opinions and amendments to regulations.

Ms. Gerrish has more than 30 years of experience in the financial services industry having worked at The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Bank of Boston, Fleet Bank, and Bank of America.  She has served the Commonwealth for five years as Deputy Commissioner and General Counsel.  Gerrish is a graduate of Connecticut College, has a Master’s in Business Administration from Boston University and a Juris Doctorate degree from Suffolk University Law School.

Jay P. Bienvenu, Senior Deputy Commissioner

Jay Bienvenu was appointed Senior Deputy Commissioner in the DIS unit in 2006. In this role, Mr. Bienvenu oversees risk management supervision for state-chartered banks and credit unions. Before becoming Senior Deputy Commissioner, Mr. Bienvenu was the DOB's DIS Deputy Commissioner. As Deputy Commissioner he oversaw the examination and supervision of Massachusetts banks and credit unions.

Mr. Bienvenu has also served the DOB as Chief Director for the Bank Supervision Unit. In 1990, Mr. Bienvenu began his career at the DOB as an Assistant Bank Examiner. Before joining the DOB, he worked in various positions in the banking industry.  Mr. Bienvenu holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Fitchburg State College. He also has a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell.

Paul A. Gibson, Senior Deputy Commissioner

Paul Gibson was appointed Senior Deputy Commissioner for the Non-Depository Institution Supervision (NDIS) unit in 2012. In this role, Mr. Gibson oversees the licensing, financial safety and soundness, and consumer compliance examinations of non-depository licensees.

Mr. Gibson began his career with the DOB in 1996 as an Assistant Bank Examiner. He has held many bank examiner and management positions throughout his tenure. Before joining the DOB, he worked in various positions in the banking industry.  Mr. Gibson holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in Finance from Suffolk University.

Christopher R. Pope, Deputy Commissioner

Christopher Pope was appointed in 2008 as Deputy Commissioner for Enforcement and Investigation. As Deputy Commissioner, Mr. Pope oversees the DOB's investigations of fraudulent and illegal activities of regulated entities. He also supervises the Consumer Assistance Unit and the administration and enforcement proceedings related to investigations. Mr. Pope is the DOB's liaison to various federal and state law enforcement agencies on criminal referral matters.

In 1999, Mr. Pope began his career at the DOB as an Assistant Bank Examiner. He later served as Assistant Chief Director, and Chief Director of Examinations for Community Financial Institutions.  Before joining the DOB, Mr. Pope worked in investment portfolio management at a state-charted bank. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with a Concentration in History from Bridgewater State College.