ATLANTA, Feb. 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- SunTrust Robinson Humphrey's (STRH) affiliate, SunTrust Equipment Finance & Leasing Corp., has announced four recent industry veteran hires for its Equipment Finance Group, which provides essential-use equipment financing for businesses and public sector entities. Paul Severn was recently named managing director and head of the Equipment Finance Group, and has been building out his team. A 17-year STRH veteran, Severn has extensive experience in corporate and investment banking, and is based in Atlanta. Lawrence Watts has been named head of capital markets, Robert Mercogliano, head of asset management, and Louis Sombat, director of operations. Watts joins the Equipment Finance Group with more than 30 years experience in the financial services industry, focused primarily on originating, structuring, and syndicating structured debt and tax products. He most recently served as managing director of Wells Fargo Securities' Commercial Asset Leasing & Finance -- Equipment Finance Group. Prior to that, he was in leadership positions with Wachovia Securities, Bank of America's leasing and securities units, and Fleet Global Lease Finance. Watts is based in Charlotte, reporting to Severn. Mercogliano has more than 27 years in the domestic and international leasing industry with a diversified background including expertise in operations management, documentation, workout/compliance, collections, pricing and structuring, asset value forecasting, asset sales and repossessions, and residual collection and negotiations. He most recently served as global head of asset management with Siemens Financial Services. Prior to Siemens, he worked at The CIT Group and Finova. Mercogliano is based in Atlanta, reporting to Severn. Sombat brings more than 20 years experience in operational efficiency, portfolio management, and transaction structuring to the Equipment Finance Group, most recently serving as senior vice president within Century Tokyo Leasing's legal and operations area. Prior to that, he held leadership positions with Fifth Third Leasing Company and Key Equipment Finance. Sombat is based in Atlanta, reporting to Horst Kisch, senior vice president, wholesale operations. "The Equipment Finance Group is a leading, full-service equipment financing platform which aligns with our other asset-financing solutions, including asset securitization, asset-based lending, structured real estate, franchise lending and supply chain finance," said Mark A. Chancy, wholesale banking executive at SunTrust. "This alignment, coupled with the continuing build out of our team with experienced, well-respected veterans like Paul, Lawrence, Bob and Louis, exhibits our commitment to our clients and the solutions we provide. Additionally, it increases our ability to serve them even more effectively as a strong product agnostic partner focused on their individual needs." The Equipment Finance Group is also positioning itself to take advantage of the opportunities offered through STRH's recent expansion of corporate banking offices in Dallas, San Francisco and Chicago. The new offices further boost the firm's ability to deliver a comprehensive suite of banking solutions to middle-market businesses and corporate clients in those regions. About the Equipment Finance GroupAs a part of SunTrust, the Equipment Finance Group is the ninth largest bank-owned equipment finance company in the U.S. based on assets, providing strategic financing solutions to commercial organizations and public sector (municipal, higher education, tax-exempt) entities nationwide. The Equipment Finance Group offers a full array of tax and non-tax structures for a variety of equipment including transportation, industrials, healthcare, technology and energy. The Equipment Finance Group serves clients nationwide through 17 office locations, including Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Charlotte, Dallas, Detroit, Ft. Lauderdale, Minneapolis, Nashville, New York, Orlando, Raleigh-Durham, Richmond, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.About SunTrust Robinson HumphreySunTrust Robinson Humphrey is the trade name for the corporate and investment banking services of SunTrust Banks, Inc., including SunTrust Bank and SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc., member FINRA and SIPC. SunTrust Robinson Humphrey provides comprehensive capital raising, strategic advisory, risk management, and investment solutions to serve the needs of corporate clients across the nation. Fixed income and equity research, sales and trading for institutional investors and M&A advisory are provided by SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc. SunTrust Robinson Humphrey has extensive experience working with public and private companies of all sizes – from emerging growth to the Fortune 500. While it offers a complete array of solutions and advice for companies across all industries, it provides in-depth industry expertise and dedicated corporate and investment banking practices for certain core sectors, including business services, financial sponsors, building products, healthcare, consumer and retail, media and communications, energy, transportation, financial services and technology, and real estate.