George Darling, the founder and chairman of the Newburyport-based Darling Consulting Group, has died at the age of 77.
Darling died on June 11 after a lengthy illness. He had founded the banking industry consulting firm in 1991 and retired as the firm’s CEO in 2013. Darling Consulting Group provides services to banks and credit unions to manage their balance sheets.
“George led Darling Consulting Group’s transformation from a niche bank software provider to the industry’s leading balance sheet and model risk management consulting firm, with 130 employees and clients in all 50 US states,” Darling Consulting Group said in a statement announcing Darling’s death. “The industry has lost a truly dedicated advocate and difference-maker.”
Darling grew up in Fall River and graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, according to his obituary. After college, Darling began working for IBM in the company’s sales division, where he became a banking industry salesman.
After continuing his work with the banking industry at accounting firm Coopers and Lybrand, a predecessor of PricewaterhouseCoopers, Darling joined the former Provident Institution for Savings in Boston, “where he discovered his passion for asset / liability management, thus changing his trajectory forever,” his obituary said.
Darling founded his first company, Darling & Assoc., In the early 1980s. Working with a software engineer, he created an asset and liability management system for the banking industry known as BASIS, which he later sold to SunGard Data Systems, according to his obituary.
Believing that data and software would change banking strategy, his obituary said, Darling founded Darling Consulting Group in 1991. The firm was co-founded with Matt Pieniazek, Jim Brown and Mike Carney, who all still work at Darling Consulting Group.
In a letter to clients, Pieniazek, the firm’s president and CEO, said Darling had made “a true difference in the banking industry throughout his over 40 years of committed service.”
“For those of you who knew him, there’s little that I can add that you don’t already know,” Matt Pieniazek said in the letter. “For those of you who did not have the good fortune to know George, he was the ‘epicenter of wonderful’ for so many people and in so many ways. You would be hard-pressed to find someone with a heart as big as his. ”
A memorial service will be announced at a later date.