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Wells Fargo Adds Commercial Banking Office for NY Apparel Industry

January 16, 2015, 07:55 AM
Filed Under: Apparel

Strengthening its commitment to apparel finance, Wells Fargo has opened a new commercial banking office in New York City to expand its services to the apparel industry. The middle-market lending unit joins established company business lines such as Wells Fargo Capital Finance, the nation’s No. 1 and the world’s No. 3 factoring provider, which has served the city’s fashion companies for more than a century.

Spearheading the Commercial Banking apparel initiative is Joe Pollicino, Wells Fargo Commercial Banking head in New York. He’s a 33-year industry veteran with deep roots in New York’s fashion industry. Joining Pollicino is Doug Taliaferro, an HSBC veteran of three decades, to lead the apparel banking office, and Gary Vessecchia, a former HSBC team leader, who serves as a senior relationship manager. Together, they provide quick, local decisions and connect customers with Wells Fargo business lines such as treasury management and international services.

“We had known Gary and Doug as competitors for years,” said Pollicino. “Establishing a dedicated apparel team and bringing these talented bankers to Wells Fargo reinforces our commitment to an industry where many of our competitors are pulling back. It will accelerate our growth in the marketplace.”

The new apparel-focused Commercial Banking team will serve customers alongside Wells Fargo Capital Finance, the No. 1 provider of factoring in the U.S. Capital Finance has served the apparel industry for decades, offering factoring and asset-based lending through import letters of credit and customer credit protection.

New York-based United Legwear and Apparel Company, a New York City-based global entity that designs, manufactures, markets, and distributes legwear and apparel such as PUMA® to retailers, has been a client of Wells Fargo Capital Finance for 10 years. “This industry changes daily, and you need a lender like Wells Fargo that understands the market, your business and can change with you,” said Christopher Volpe, chief operating officer and chief financial officer of United Legwear.

“Over the past five years, more apparel companies are turning to factoring and asset-based lending to leverage extra cash flow during their cyclical business cycles,” said Kevin Gillespie, an 18-year banking veteran and executive vice president of Wells Fargo Capital Finance. “The differentiating factor with Wells Fargo is how closely our business divisions collaborate to tailor individual approaches for each client’s financial needs. In this industry, you need to move quickly and be proactive to service this ever-changing market.”

New York’s $98-billion apparel industry has nearly 14,000 fashion establishments and is home to the industry’s iconic annual event, Fashion Week, which takes place February 1-19.

With more than 140 offices in 38 states and three Canadian provinces, Wells Fargo Commercial Banking provides local service and decision-making for businesses with annual revenues of greater than $20 million. Asset-based lending, traditional secured loans, and capital markets provide access to working capital for day-to-day operations and growth. Expertise and services are available to specialty industries, including technology, food and agribusiness, healthcare, government, higher education, clean technology, and environmental services. Wells Fargo has the highest market share of middle-market company relationships in the U.S., according to the 2013 TNS Commercial Banking Momentum Monitor.

Wells Fargo Capital Finance is the trade name for certain asset-based lending services, senior secured lending services, accounts receivable and purchase order finance services, and channel finance services of Wells Fargo & Company and its subsidiaries, and provides traditional asset-based lending, specialized senior and junior secured financing, accounts receivable financing, purchase order financing and channel finance to companies across the United States and internationally.

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