LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., June 27, 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 hired seasoned Long Island banker, William Ayers, to its growing Business Banking Group. Ayers, as a director of relationship management, leads the group of managers focused on growing business in the Long Island area. He reports directly to Stephen Sipola, executive vice president and managing director of the Business Banking Group.
"Bill understands how important good relationships are to operating successfully in business banking. This is especially true for an organization like ours, where it's essential that we be able to act as trusted advisors for our clients," said Stephen Sipola. "As we continue to expand our team and add much-needed resources to the Long Island market, we know that Bill will be a great asset in keeping that focus."
Ayers is responsible for expanding Astoria's business banking portfolio in Nassau and Suffolk counties, focusing on small to mid-market businesses. As a senior vice president and director of relationship management, he currently oversees the day-to-day activities of seven relationship managers on Long Island, while his management counterpart, Fred Hugue, oversees the relationship managers in other areas such as Manhattan. Both teams are expected to grow in the coming months, as Astoria continues to add experienced resources to the Business Banking Group.In his 27 years of banking, Ayers' work has been primarily focused on mid-size and small businesses. Most recently, he worked at Capital One, where he served as a senior vice president in the Middle Market Banking Group. He combines his extensive local banking experience with his knowledge of large banking institutions such as Capital One and J.P. Morgan Chase for a unique perspective on the needs of regional businesses. He uses that perspective to both enhance the relationship managers' overall marketing efforts and to help raise awareness of the different consultative services that Astoria can offer its clientele. "Our business clients need more than just bankers who can follow a script -- they need experts who can offer true financial consultation on the issues impacting their businesses. This is the level of service they have come to expect from Astoria and one which we strive every day to address as our group continues to grow," said Stephen Sipola, executive vice president and managing director of Astoria's Business Banking Group. Over the coming months, Astoria Federal plans to continue adding new team members to its Business Banking Group, focusing both on Long Island businesses and others in the greater New York City area such as Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Westchester. These new hires continue the expansion that Astoria began in 2011 -- since then the Business Banking Group has expanded its team from eight to more than 30 people, with an average of more than 20 years of business banking experience. This expansion, along with the bank's re-entry into the multi-family lending market, has 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. Astoria's business core deposits have also increased by double digits for the second straight year. About Astoria Federal Savings Astoria Financial Corporation (NYSE: AF), with assets of $16.2 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