Loaded for Bear
After selling $120 million of preferred shares to the Treasury Department last week, Signature Bank in New York is flush with capital, which chief executive Joseph DePaolo said should give it an edge in a tough market."In most of the other parts of the country, you may have one of these huge megabanks, but we have all of them here," Mr. DePaolo said in an interview this week.
The government infusion, combined with $148 million raised in a common stock offering in September, means Signature now has a total risk-based capital ratio of more than 19%. "If you want to continue growing the bank and give the service that private businesses deserve, you've got to have capital ratios that are far superior and more significant than these major institutions," Mr. DePaolo said.
Bands 'n' Banks
If the decade-in-the-making new album by Los Angeles rockers Guns N' Roses turns out to be a winner, the band's lead singer has offered a big hint on which bank will share in the riches.Singer Axl Rose, the band's long-time leader and the producer of Chinese Democracy, thanks myriad friends and colleagues in the liner notes of the compact disc. Tucked between nods to actor Mickey Rourke and a company called Paul Reed Smith Guitars, Mr. Rose thanks Barbara Van Wormer, a senior vice president in City National Corp.'s private banking division, and her staff.
In an interview, Ms. Van Wormer said that City National has worked with several Hollywood film companies during the past decade but that she thinks Mr. Rose is the first big-name rock-n-roller to make her client list. She said she does not know Mr. Rose personally — she has worked with his management company's representatives — and cannot call herself a big fan of his music. "But I definitely bought the new CD and am trying very hard to appreciate it," she said. "And of course I hope it sells exceptionally well."
Fifth Third Director
Fifth Third Bancorp added Marsha C. Williams, the chief financial officer for online travel company Orbitz Worldwide Inc., to its board on Tuesday, filling a seat that had been vacant a while.Her resume also includes a stint as the CFO of Equity Office Properties Trust, an office real estate investment trust. In a press release, Kevin Kabat, Fifth Third's chairman, president, and chief executive, cited the new director's "deep corporate governance experience" and her "broad understanding of financial issues" as reasons for her selection. A Fifth Third spokeswoman said Ms. Williams, 56, filled the spot vacated late last year by the death of philanthropist Joan Herschede.