Daily News: February 28, 2014

First Niagara Expands ABL Team with Drooff, Landis

First Niagara Commercial Finance, the ABL arm of First Niagara Financial Group, announced the addition of two senior-level underwriting professionals. Peter Drooff joined FNCF as first VP and director of underwriting, and Rod Landis serves as VP of underwriting reporting to Drooff. Drooff and Landis are based out of FNCF headquarters in Dedham, MA, and will work closely with the national director of New Business Development, Keith Broyles, and his team to support business growth.

In 2013, FNCF committed to more than $160 million in new business financings and has plans to significantly exceed this in 2014 with its expanded team and enhanced offerings for clients. FNCF President Larry Favre attributes this success to the bank’s ability to attract top talent within the industry, and its commitment to operating under a seamless client delivery model, whereby the same multi-disciplined team members follow a client from origination to closing.

“We’re pleased to welcome Peter and Rod to our team,” Favre said. “With a combined 40 years of experience in business and financial services, they each possess the proven track record and extensive experience necessary to serve our prospects and clients and strongly support our growing business.”

As director of underwriting, Drooff oversees the underwriting process for all asset-based loans to commercial, industrial, retail and wholesale companies, ensuring superior client service and client-centric financing delivery while maintaining prudent risk assessment. Drooff works in close partnership with FNCF’s New Business Development and Portfolio Management Groups to ensure a team-based approach to seamless execution for the client from origination to closing and beyond. Drooff draws on more than 20 years of experience in the areas of finance, banking and consulting. Prior to joining First Niagara, he held a senior underwriter position at PNC Business Credit in Manhattan. Drooff is a member of the Commercial Finance and Turnaround Management Associations.

“I’m thrilled to join the First Niagara Commercial Finance team, and look forward to putting my underwriting, compliance and analytical skills to work serving business customers’ needs across the bank’s multi-state footprint,” Drooff said.

In his new role as a VP with First Niagara Commercial Finance, Rod Landis is responsible for the underwriting, credit analysis and due diligence of new asset-based transactions.

Landis has more than 20 years of experience in financial services, having split time between commercial banking and investment management. Previously, he worked at CypressTree Investment Management as a collateralized loan obligation manager and at RBS Citizens as a loan officer. Landis is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

“I’m excited to join Larry, Keith, Peter and the rest of the team in providing the highest level of guidance and support to our asset-based lending clients,” Landis said.