Amalgamated Bank Appoints James Freel Chief Real Estate Officer - Institutional Asset Management and Custody

Jan 07, 2010, 11:30 ET from Amalgamated Bank

NEW YORK, Jan. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Amalgamated Bank has named James T. Freel to the position of Senior Vice President and Chief Real Estate Officer in its Institutional Asset Management and Custody Division. In his new post, Mr. Freel will be responsible for overseeing the Investment Management division's real estate investment team, including portfolio management for the bank's flagship Longview ULTRA Construction Loan Investment Fund and future real estate investment product development.

Mr. Freel, who has extensive experience in construction financing and commercial real estate loan work-outs, will report to Patrick O'Sullivan, Executive Vice President and Director of the Institutional Asset Management and Custody Division.

"Jim has the right mix of experience for this environment and for the real estate recovery period that lies ahead," said Mr. O'Sullivan. "His extensive workout experience with KeyBank and Washington Mutual Bank gives us the leadership we need to deal with distressed loans in the LongView ULTRA Fund and to take advantage of dislocation in the current construction loan marketplace to recoup losses and add value for our institutional investor base."

Derrick Cephas, Amalgamated Bank's President and Chief Executive Officer commented, "For nearly nine years, the LongView ULTRA fund provided steady, predictable returns and created millions of hours of jobs for union workers. We are committed to getting the fund back to an acceptable level of performance, and Jim is the right person to help us navigate through this very challenging market."

Prior to joining Amalgamated Bank, Mr. Freel was a Senior Vice President in KeyBank's Asset Recovery Group, where he was in charge of managing $305 million of KeyBank's nationwide commercial real estate loan workouts, dealing with investment funds sponsored by major real estate firms across a broad range of property and loan types. While at KeyBank, he also served as Senior Vice President/Income Property Group, a position in which he closed approximately $230 million of loans.

From 2004 to August of 2007, he was Senior Vice President/Senior Regional Manager for HSBC Bank, USA in Garden City, Long Island, where he led a team of senior relationship managers and oversaw the production of over $800 million of primarily construction financings in the New York tri-state region. While a Senior Vice President/Commercial Real Estate Workout Manager with Dime Savings Bank (and its successor institution, Washington Mutual Bank) from 1991 to 2004, he established and managed the bank's Commercial Real Estate Workout Department, including the development of policies, procedures and remediation strategies. He also managed teams responsible for new business production in New York, New Jersey and Florida.

Mr. Freel received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (Finance) from Georgetown University in 1974 and an MBA in Finance and Investments from Adelphi University in 1980. He served as President of the Mortgage Bankers Association of New York from 2000 to 2002 and has twice served as a member of that organization's Board of Governors. He is a frequent panelist/moderator for trade industry conferences on loan workouts.

About Amalgamated Bank

Amalgamated Bank is one of the leading providers of investment and trust services to Taft-Hartley plans in the United States. The Institutional Asset Management and Custody Division provides distinct advantages to pension fund investors. The Division understands the challenges that plan trustees face in managing the assets of large pension, health and welfare funds. As a result, Amalgamated delivers a much higher level of client-focused service.

Established in 1923 by the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, Amalgamated Bank continues the progressive traditions of its founders as the only 100 percent union-owned bank in the United States. Chartered by New York State, Amalgamated Bank is a FDIC insured commercial bank with $4.5 billion in assets. The Bank's corporate divisions also include Commercial Banking, Real Estate Finance and Amalgamated Capital(TM), an acquisition finance lender to middle market equity sponsors.

Amalgamated has 22 retail branches including 16 in New York City as well as branches in: Las Vegas, Nevada; Lyndhurst, New Jersey; Pasadena, California and Washington, D.C. The Bank's website is

SOURCE Amalgamated Bank