Daily News: April 4, 2012

Signature Bank Names Rabin to Lead New Specialty Finance Group

Signature Bank, a New York-based full-service commercial bank, announced that it has formed a new subsidiary, Signature Financial, marking the Bank’s entry into the specialty financing arena.

Signature Financial is a specialty finance company, focused on equipment finance and leasing, transportation financing and taxi medallion financing. Combined with the Bank’s current taxi medallion finance business, Signature Bank enhances its market position in this field.

A well-respected, veteran management team was appointed to lead Signature Financial, which will be based in Melville, Long Island. The team, whose management possesses more than 175 years of combined experience within specialty finance and has worked together for 25 years, will be led by Walter Rabin, who will join Signature Financial as president in June 2012, after a 90-day waiting period.

Additional members who have already joined Signature Financial are Richard J. Antonacci, with 25 years of specialty finance experience, who was named chief operating officer and executive vice president; Anthony Fantauzzi, a seasoned financing executive with more than 30 years of commercial finance and banking experience, named chief risk officer and executive vice president; Anthony Perettine, executive vice president, with nearly three decades spanning both commercial finance and banking; Joseph Fantauzzi, appointed executive vice president and capital markets division head, bringing 26 years of financing and leasing expertise to his new role; W. Kerry Mach, senior vice president and director of business development, another 26-year banking and financing veteran specializing in middle market equipment leasing; and Daniel Craffey, senior vice president and director of operations who has spent 15 years in the specialty finance industry.

Also joining Signature Financial are Steve Robbins as director of asset management; Steve Jason as director of vehicle finance; and John Cetta as director of taxi medallion finance. Each bring more than 20 years of industry experience to Signature Financial.

All join from Capital One’s All Points Capital subsidiary, a financing and leasing company specializing in funding for independent lessors nationwide, with the exception of Joseph Fantauzzi, who most recently was senior vice president and head of the capital markets division at Wells Fargo Equipment Finance, where he was employed for the past 17 years in various financing-related roles. In total, the bank has added in excess of 30 professionals to Signature Financial to support its anticipated growth.

Furthermore, Signature Bank appointed a new middle-market team with long-standing commercial banking roots in Long Island. The four-person team will be based in the soon-to-open Hauppauge private client banking office, which will mark the bank’s 26th office.

The team is led by Gary Sarro and Alan Giaimis, both named group directors and senior vice presidents, joined by Robert J. Caruana, Jr., associate group director and vice president.

Sarro brings 35 years of middle-market banking experience to Signature Bank, most recently serving as senior vice president and team leader at HSBC Bank in Melville, where he was employed for 30 years. In this position, he focused on serving middle-market commercial and industrial clients. Giaimis has built a 25-year banking career, most recently spending 11 years at HSBC in Melville as senior vice president where he served privately held middle market entities. Prior, he was a vice president and relationship manager at European American Bank. Caruana spent the past eight years as vice president and relationship manager at HSBC and previously, was a portfolio manager and assistant vice president in commercial banking at Bank of America in Melville. Jessica Alagna, with two decades of financial services support experience, was named senior client associate for this team.

To further solidify its presence in Manhattan, the bank named Roseann Manos, group director and senior vice president and Darshini Mahadeo, senior client associate at its 261 Madison Avenue private client banking office. Manos spent 30 years dedicated to commercial banking in midtown Manhattan, developing a diverse portfolio including real estate and healthcare clients. She spent most of her career at Capital One Bank, formerly North Fork Bank, in midtown Manhattan, in private banking, as team leader and senior vice president. Mahadeo has worked directly with Manos and her clients for seven years.

Additionally, Carlos Salvador joined the private client banking team headed by group director and senior vice president John Gonzalez, as associate group director and vice president, at the 950 Third Avenue location in New York City. Salvador joins from TD Bank (previously Commerce Bank) in midtown, where he spent 12 years as Business Development Officer handling acquisition and retention of new business banking relationships.

“We are excited to attract one of the most talented management teams in the specialty finance and leasing arena today. Their relationship-based approach and decades of experience allows us to broaden our lending activities and to also further enhance the breadth and depth of the capabilities we bring to our clients. Their experience and history, particularly at NorthFork Bank, makes this a great fit for our organization,” explained Joseph J. DePaolo, president and chief executive officer.

“In addition, we are pleased to have one of Long Island’s most respected C&I-focused, middle market teams joining the bank with the appointment of the Sarro/Giaimis team. All these appointments – for both the specialty financing subsidiary as well as our traditional private client banking teams – reflect our continued ability to draw some of the most highly qualified financial services professionals to our growing banking network,” he said.

Scott A. Shay, chairman of the board, noted: “Our strategic decision to enter the specialty finance and leasing business will allow us to further diversify the asset side of our balance sheet while expanding our client offerings. Additionally, the newly added Sarro/Giaimis team will increase our predominantly floating rate commercial and industrial loan portfolio infusing more floating rate components to our revenue streams.”