Proposed N.Y. de novo has lofty capital goal and ambitious growth plan

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Piermont Bank, a de novo looking to open in New York, has lofty capital goals and an eye on expansion.

The proposed bank’s organizers aim to raise $100 million, according to an application filed with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. The group is seeking a national charter from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

While it would be based in New York, Piermont would eventually enter “urban coastal communities,” the application said. The bank would target privately owned, small and midsize businesses, while offering a “private client service model … where clients have a single point of contact and where pricing, products and services are delivered on a holistic relationship basis.”

The proposed bank, which has lined up an office at 1071 Avenue of the Americas in Midtown Manhattan, would also court commercial real estate deals and specialized industry groups such as health care firms.

Several bankers with ties to East West Bancorp are involved in the project.

Wendy Cai-Lee, who previously served as East West’s head of business and consumer banker, would become president and CEO of the proposed bank. Julia Gouw, who retired as East West’s president and chief operating officer in 2016, will serve on Piermont’s board.

Several other Piermont executives have held posts at East West.

The board will include Janie Barrera, founder and CEO of LiftFund, and Charles Roff, a former director at MetroCorp Bancshares in Houston, which East West acquired in 2014. An unnamed director — labeled as confidential in the application — is a former chairman and CEO of a commercial bank and a former director of a de novo bank.

A spokeswoman for Piermont wasn't immediately available to comment.

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