LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., April 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Astoria Federal Savings, Long Island's fourth-largest bank by deposit market share and the second largest community bank headquartered in New York, today announced that it has promoted Stephen Sipola to executive vice president and managing director of the bank's Business Banking Group. Sipola's appointment is part of a strategic growth plan for the group, as business banking continues to be a core tenet of the bank's overall strategy to continue to serve the New York business market in 2013. Sipola reports directly to Gerard C. Keegan, vice chairman and chief operating officer.
Since joining Astoria in April 2011 as senior vice president and managing director of the Business Banking Group, Sipola has successfully led the bank's expansion into the competitive New York business banking marketplace through a high-touch, consultative approach that helps customers find flexible, innovative ways to improve cash flow, and to secure credit to facilitate business growth and account for unexpected events that could impact their businesses. The expansion of Astoria's Business Banking Group and the bank's re-entry into the multi-family lending market have proved to be critical components of Astoria's strategic shift in its balance sheet, through repositioned assets and liabilities, resulting in a positive benefit on the net interest margin.
With more than 30 years experience in the competitive New York business banking marketplace, most recently as senior vice president at Capital One Bank, Sipola has been instrumental in attracting the top business banking talent to Astoria, and helping to advance the bank's mission of providing business owners with the personal attention and financial expertise needed to achieve financial-growth objectives. Under Sipola's leadership, the Business Banking Group has seen double-digit core deposit growth for the second straight year. The group has also expanded from eight to 26 people, hiring relationship managers and business banking executives with an average of more than 20 years of business banking experience. As the Business Banking Group continues to grow, small and mid-market businesses in the New York region will be an area of focus for the bank's group of business banking experts. The unit's progression demonstrates the pronounced market need Astoria is addressing."Steve has successfully positioned our Business Banking Group as a valuable, proven resource that gets things done for our customers. They feature extensive, local market knowledge and decision making that accelerates execution, and offer a full range of products and services to help improve business and fuel economic growth," said Monte Redman, president and chief executive officer at Astoria. "Big-box banks simply do not offer the same individual, consultative approach that we use to establish long-term relationships with businesses of all sizes within our markets. Through Steve's expanding team of seasoned underwriters, and relationship and treasury management professionals, we work directly with businesses to deliver customized solutions to customer-specific cash flow, borrowing, investment and insurance challenges." On a neighborhood level, branch managers serve as a personal resource for business owners, and utilize Astoria's unique Business GPS approach to improve their business cash flow, featuring a special four-point check-up. This approach enables branch managers to work with business owners and Astoria's experienced team of business banking professionals to closely examine payment cycles and pain points; gain a complete understanding of the financial support business customers may need; and create a customized plan, including actionable solutions to ultimately optimize cash flow. In addition, neighborhood branches provide local business owners with access to a network of community connections to help attain the resources needed to achieve their business goals. The Astoria Business Banking Group's expanded, proven approach helps provide thousands of Astoria's existing business banking customers with the experienced, customized support and financial expertise needed to help improve cash flow and grow their businesses. About Astoria Federal SavingsAstoria Financial Corporation (NYSE: AF), with assets of $16.5 billion, is the holding company for Astoria Federal Savings and Loan Association. Established in 1888, Astoria Federal, with deposits in New York totaling $10.4 billion, is the largest thrift depository in New York and embraces its philosophy of " Putting people first" by providing the customers and local communities it serves with quality financial products and services through 85 convenient banking office locations and multiple delivery channels, including its enhanced website, www.astoriafederal.com. Astoria Federal commands the fourth largest deposit market share in the attractive Long Island market, which includes Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau, and Suffolk counties with a population exceeding that of 38 individual states. Astoria Federal originates residential mortgage loans through its banking and loan production offices in New York, a broker network in four states, primarily along the East Coast, and through correspondent relationships covering nine states and the District of Columbia. Astoria Federal also originates multi-family and commercial real estate loans, primarily on rent controlled and rent stabilized apartment buildings, located in New York City and the metropolitan area. SOURCE Astoria Federal Savings