Fueled by strong loan growth and record deposit growth, Signature Bank in New York is coming off its most-profitable quarter in its 10-year history.

The $12.4 billion-asset bank said Tuesday that it earned a record $34.6 million in the first quarter, up nearly 57% from the same period in 2011. Earnings per share rose 52%, to 82 cents.

Joseph J. DePaolo, Signature's president and chief executive, says the bank's strategy of hiring experienced teams of bankers to drum up loan and deposit business has been "a cornerstone of our success." Signature has added dozens of client banking teams—many of which were recruited from larger banks—in recent years, including four so far this year.

"Given the tremendous opportunities in the New York metro area, we expect our founding model will allow us to further expand our franchise as we continue to attract veteran bankers to our network," DePaolo said in a news release.

The $748 million of deposits Signature added in the first quarter boosted total deposits to $10.2 billion, up 8% from Dec. 31 and 29% from a year earlier. Loans, excluding loans held for sale, totaled $5.6 billion, up 7.5% from just three months earlier. Net interest income for the quarter was $103.7 million, up nearly 32% from a year earlier.

Signature's share price hit an all-time high of $58.43 early Tuesday, but had fallen to around $57 later in the day.

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