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Signature Bank Pushes Growth With Sales Hirings

Stocks in this article: SBNY C WFC GE COF

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Tepid loan demand? Signature Bank (SBNY) of New York doesn't think so, and the addition of "seven senior sales professionals" should help it meet its aggressive sales goals and then some.

Signature Bank had $19.7 billion in total assets as of June 30, with assets and net loans and leases growing 13% year-over-year. The bank's goal for 2013 is loan-and-lease growth of $2.2 billion.

That's a stellar growth rate in the current market environment. While the regulator hasn't yet released its Quarterly Banking Profile for June, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. reported that over the year ended March 31, net loans and leases had growth just 3.8% year-over-year.

A major component of Signature bank's loan strategy is its leasing subsidiary, Signature Financial LLC, which was formed in March 2012. Signature Financial focuses on equipment and transportation leasing, and also took over the bank's taxi medallion financing business when it was formed.

Signature Bank on Tuesday announced the hiring of "seven seasoned sales professionals," who will operate across the country. Harry Newman was hired as an executive sales offer, based in the Knoxville, Tenn., area. Newman previously worked for Wells Fargo Equipment Finance, a unit of Wells Fargo (WFC), "where he handled sourcing and negotiating a wide range of construction equipment transactions," according to Signature's announcement. Newman previously "held various equipment finance-related positions at Citigroup (C) and Astec Financial."

Another new executive sales officer is Craig Cleary, based in Harrisburg, Pa., with experience at General Electric (GE) subsidiary GE Capital, as well as Citigroup. "Cleary's expertise extends into the construction and trucking industries," according to Signature's announcement.

Bill Musgrave, whose 30 years of experience includes a seven-year stint at Capital One (COF) subsidiary Capital One Leasing & Finance, was hired as an executive sales officer, based on Denver, Colo.

Other senior sales hirings include Rob McKenna, based in Philadelphia; Mark Riley, based in Richmond, Va.; Joseph Farinella, based at Signature Financial's headquarters in Melville, N.Y.; and Rick Scheffel, also based in Melville, N.Y.

Signature Bank's strong loan growth has fed some solid earnings numbers, with a second-quarter return on average assets (ROA) of 1.14% and a return on average tangible common equity of 12.53%, according to Thomson Reuters Bank Insight.

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