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Signature Bank Launches Fund Banking Division; Appoints Veteran Team to Lead Strategic Effort

October 17, 2018, 07:18 AM
Filed Under: New Venture
Related: Signature Bank

Signature Bank, a New York-based full-service commercial bank, announced the establishment of its new Fund Banking Division, dedicated to providing financing and banking services to the private equity industry. Signature Bank’s new Fund Banking Division will offer subscription lines of credit, management company lines of credit and general partner loans, specifically targeted to private equity firms and their general partners. The Fund Banking Division will be based in Midtown Manhattan.

Tom Byrne, named Managing Group Director and Head of the Fund Banking Division, will lead the Bank’s nationwide platform. Previously, Byrne, who brings nearly 30 years of banking industry experience to his new role, was Group Head of Silicon Valley Bank’s Global Fund Banking Division in New York City, where he retained global responsibility for all business development and relationship management activities for the firm’s private equity client base. Prior, Byrne was Group Head of the Peacock Equity Fund, an investment arm of NBCUniversal. In this capacity, he had global investment and portfolio management responsibility for the firm’s venture capital fund. Before joining GE/NBCUniversal, Byrne was a senior media and telecommunications banker at both ABN AMRO and Royal Bank of Canada, with responsibility for developing global client relationships.

Several top professionals with expertise from some of the nation’s top fund banking platforms have joined the Bank’s new Fund Banking Division. These include Brian Schneider, Trevor Freeman, Charles Newcomb and Victor Rutenberg, each named Managing Directors, responsible for originating and structuring new business opportunities within the private equity funds arena.

Schneider and Freeman both join from Silicon Valley Bank in New York. Schneider, with more than 23 years of related financial services experience, was Region Manager in the Global Fund Banking Division. He managed the seven-person NYC-based Fund Banking team, based in New York City. Previously, he was Senior Vice President, Loan Syndications (including Fund Banking transactions) at Lloyd’s Securities, Inc., and earlier, a Director, Loan Syndications for 14 years at Dresdner Bank.

Freeman was also a Managing Director, primarily responsible for the structuring of significant subscription credit facilities for leading private equity and venture capital funds. Earlier, he spent 13 years at Citibank as Senior Vice President in the Sponsor Finance Group. Freeman’s nearly 20-year career has been spent focused on serving the private equity and venture capital industry.

Newcomb joins from Comerica Bank in New York City, where he held the role of Managing Director – Equity Fund Services Group. In this capacity, he originated and structured debt products for private equity and venture funds. Earlier, he was Vice President in Subscription Finance at Wells Fargo Securities, and Associate Director at WestLB AG as part of the Financial Institutions Group. He has spent 13 years in the banking arena.

Rutenberg brings 18 years of financial experience to his new role. Most recently, he was Director of the Citibank Sponsor Finance Team in Manhattan, responsible for origination and structuring of fund financing facilities. Prior, Rutenberg worked at several global banks, including SMBC and WestLB, where he was originating and structuring credit facilitates for private equity funds.

Kevin Chiu was appointed to the post of Relationship Manager in the Fund Banking Division. He has worked in private banking managing ultra-high-net-worth client relationships for the past 15 years. Chiu joins from U.S. Trust in Midtown Manhattan, where he served as Private Client Manager for the past three years.

Meredith Kane, Anthony Episcopio and Kaylin Searles were all named Senior Associates for the Division. Kane has been with Signature Bank in Midtown Manhattan for more than two years, assisting with onboarding new clients and expanding client relationships. She spent six years serving as a Senior Preferred Banker at First Republic Bank, assisting in business development and client research and analysis before joining Signature Bank. Episcopio held this same title at Silicon Valley Bank in New York, where he handled portfolio management, structuring and underwriting subscription credit facilities for private equity firms. Searles joins from UBS Private Wealth Management, where she was a Wealth Strategy Associate in Miami, performing investment research and portfolio management.

“We continue to identify avenues of opportunity for the growth of Signature Bank, and are excited to establish this new division and platform. The fundamentals of the private equity industry are strong and deeply rooted in the New York landscape, and we believe this is an excellent time for the Bank to add emphasis to this complementary area,” explained Joseph J. DePaolo, Signature Bank President and Chief Executive Officer.

“Tom and his team bring to us a distinctive fund banking specialty and many years of collective experience. Together, they will all serve as a single point of contact for private equity firms and their general partners, consistent with our founding private client banking philosophy. We look forward to the Bank’s initiative in the private equity space, and to the position we expect to solidify within this specialized area,” DePaolo added.

Byrne commented on joining Signature Bank: “My team and I are excited to join Signature Bank and create this new division. We believe that at Signature Bank, we have the right platform and professionals in place to serve our clients and prospects in a distinguishing manner that will support their growth and future success. We are quickly establishing the Bank’s role in the fund banking arena, and are focusing on the contributions we will make across the new Fund Banking Division.”

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