BankUnited (NYSE: BKU) Chairman, President and CEO John Kanas has named veteran New York commercial real estate finance executive Saverio “Sam” Giarrusso to lead BankUnited’s New York City commercial real estate lending department as it enters the New York market. Kanas also announced the hiring of three key executives who will jumpstart BankUnited’s commercial real estate lending business.
Sam Giarrusso (Photo: Business Wire)“Sam and his team will spearhead a concentrated effort to recapture significant market share in New York. Combined with other New York team members they will be a powerful, competitive force in the market,” said Kanas. A former finance committee chairman of the Real Estate Board of New York, Giarrusso has worked 27 years in the banking industry. He served as president of the New York City/Long Island region of M&T Bank where he headed the commercial real estate lending division, and was named as one of “The Power 100: The Most Powerful People in New York Real Estate” by The New York Observer. Giarrusso has also served as a member of the Freddie Mac Seller/Servicer Advisory Council. He earned his master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. Along with Giarrusso, BankUnited’s commercial real estate lending team in New York will include Scott Lublin, senior vice president; Jill Marie Ho Tai, senior vice president; and Joseph Sforzo, vice president. Lublin has 24 years of banking industry experience, having served with Giarrusso for nearly 20 years. He earned a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Buffalo and an MBA from Fordham. Ho Tai has 20 years of banking industry experience, most recently as administrative vice president for M&T Bank’s New York commercial real estate department. She is a graduate of Harvard University and Fordham Law School. Sforzo worked for M&T Bank’s New York City/Long Island commercial real estate division before joining Largo Capital, a mortgage banking firm, as a managing director. He graduated from the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania. BankUnited, approaching nearly 100 branches in Florida, was recently ranked 10th in the Forbes 2012 list of Best Banks in America. Florida-based BankUnited (NYSE: BKU) went public in January 2011 with the largest bank IPO in U.S. history. BankUnited provides a wide range of commercial and consumer banking services in 15 Florida counties and will be opening branches in New York City and Long Island over the next few weeks.