Astoria Financial in Lake Success, N.Y., has named a former Citigroup banker a director of business banking.

The $15.3 billion-asset Astoria hired Richard Saybolt for the position of director of relationship management for its business banking group. His territory for Astoria will include Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Westchester County, N.Y.

Saybolt was previously manager of Citibank's New York City business banking group. He also oversaw relationship managers for Citi's commercial business in Manhattan and was marketing director for Citi's U.S. Commercial Banking Group.

Saybolt's hire is the latest executive move in New York's hyper-competitive market, where new personnel can have as much effect on business as branch acquisitions.

"Growing our portfolio in New York City is a key part of our long-term strategy for business lending, Stephen Sipola, Astoria's managing director for business banking, said in an news release.

Saybolt has spent his entire career in commercial and business banking, working more than 30 years in the field, Astoria said.

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