Mortgage Observer

Class of 2013: New Hires Signal Banks’ Growth Heading Into New Year

In July of this year, Hudson City Bancorp announced that it will enter the lucrative commercial real estate market, initially participating in syndicated commercial real estate and multifamily mortgage loans. Then, on August 27th, M&T Bank Corp. agreed to buy Hudson City Bancorp for $3.7 billion.

With the acquisition, M&T Bank will expand its presence in providing commercial real estate and middle market financing to companies in markets where Hudson City has an extensive branch network.

TriState Capital Bank provides commercial and industrial banking, commercial real estate lending and private banking services for middle market businesses. The bank was founded in 2007 and is based in Pittsburgh. This past summer, it opened its New York City location at 623 Fifth Avenue. In August, the bank announced the hiring of Thomas Gilmartin to serve as regional president of the company’s New York City market.

TriState Capital Bank President William Schenck III, commenting on growth and expansion plans, said that the “bank’s focus is serving middle market businesses with revenues in the $20 million to $200 million range and high-net-worth individuals.” He added that the bank is “excited about now being part of the New York metropolitan market.”

Before the end of the year, People’s United Bank is expected to open its flagship New York City branch at 250 Park Avenue. In July, the bank announced that John Costa had joined its commercial banking group as executive vice president and head of the New York commercial real estate business.

“We are pleased to have John join us to grow our lending activities in the metro New York market,” said Jeffrey Tengel, senior vice president, commercial banking. In addition to the hiring of Mr. Costa, the bank hired two other senior lenders from Santander specializing in multifamily financing.

Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp, with $352 billion in assets, is the parent company of the fifth-largest commercial bank in the United States—U.S. Bank National Association. Over the past decade, it has provided financing for commercial real estate for private investors, real estate investment trusts and private equity funds. Earlier this year, the bank hired Gregory Fierce to oversee the loan production and originations in New York City. “I joined the bank to focus more on the New York City marketplace,” Mr. Fierce said. “With that groundwork laid in 2012, we plan to expand our portfolio further in 2013.”

California-based First Republic Bank is also expanding its presence in the New York tristate area. Last December, the leading private bank and wealth management company announced that Garrett Sokoloff had joined as a managing director in New York City. Mr. Sokoloff had worked for UBS as the co-head of conduit origination in the real estate finance group. Over the past year, his team has become a major force in providing commercial real estate financing in the region.

With these new hires all poised to take advantage of growth in the New York area in the new year, banks from all across the country appear ready to go.