FirstBank Florida in Miami has recruited five bankers from area competitors to bolster its commercial banking department.

One of the recruits, Mahesh Pattabhiraman, will manage the department for the bank, the Florida arm of the $12 billion-asset FirstBank in Puerto Rico. Pattabhiraman joins FirstBank from Apollo Bank in Miami, where he was chief lending officer and senior vice president of commercial lending.

Yuleisy Montalvo was hired as vice president and commercial banking officer, positions he held most recently at Mercantil Commercebank in Coral Gables, Fla.

Jose Marrero, formerly senior vice president and relationship manager with Ocean Bank in Miami, was hired as vice president of commercial real estate.

Iluminada Diaz and Raquel Riano were hired as business relationship officers. Diaz, previously senior relationship manager at BankUnited in Miami Lakes, will work in FirstBank's Doral branch. Riano, a former assistant vice president and small-business banker at Bank of America, will work in the Brickell branch.

"Having such experienced individuals join our bank speaks volumes about the substantial impact we've had within the community and industry circles," Calixto Garcia-Velez, regional executive and executive vice president of FirstBank Florida, said in a press release Tuesday.

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