Signature Bank (SBNY) in New York has launched a new specialty finance company and has hired a team of executives away from rival Capital One Financial (COF) to run it.
The new unit, Signature Financial, will focus on equipment finance and leasing, transportation financing and taxi medallion financing, the $14.7 billion-asset Signature said in a news release Tuesday.
Walter Rabin, the former president at Capital One's specialty financing arm, All Points Capital, will join Signature Financial as president in June, after a 90-day waiting period. Eight of Rabin's former colleagues at Capital One have already joined Signature, as has Joseph Fantauzzi, who was most recently a senior vice president at Wells Fargo Equipment Finance.
The lenders have a combined 175 years of experience in specialty finance, primarily in the New York metropolitan market. Many of them are former lenders at North Fork Bank who joined Capital One when it acquired North Fork in 2007.
"We are excited to attract one of the most talented management teams in the specialty finance and leasing arena today," Signature President and Chief Executive Joseph J. DePaolo said in a news release. "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."
Signature was founded in 2001 and has grown almost exclusively by hiring teams of commercial bankers away from competitors.
Aside from the specialty finance team it assembled, it also announced Tuesday that it has added a four-person lending team to staff a soon-to-open private-client office in Hauppauge, N.Y. That group, to be jointly headed by Gary Sarro and Alan Giaimis, joins Signature from HSBC Bank USA.