Astoria Federal Savings Adds Over 20 Years of Experience to its Growing Business Banking Team with Two Senior Level Hires

Sovereign Veteran, Pam Werner, and Equipment Capital and Leasing Specialist, Jim Thompson, Add Core Capabilities and Depth to Emerging Unit

Apr 29, 2013, 15:30 ET from Astoria Federal Savings

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., April 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Astoria Federal Savings, Long Island's fourth largest bank by deposit market share and the second largest community bank headquartered in New York, announced today that it has added two senior vice presidents, Pam Werner and James Thompson, to its Business Banking Group to support the unit's expansion.  Both Werner and Thompson service a variety of industries and business types, and report directly to Stephen Sipola, executive vice president and managing director of the Business Banking Group.

Werner joins the team as a senior vice president and director of treasury management.  Her appointment builds upon the group's cash flow and risk management consultative capability as the bank continues to expand the market reach of its business banking services.  Previously, she led the New York Metro cash management team at Santander/Sovereign Bank, delivering customized cash flow solutions to many different industries in the region, as well as the national commercial real estate market.

Thompson joins the team as a senior vice president and senior relationship manager. He plays an integral role in developing individualized business banking solutions for new and existing customers.  Prior to joining Astoria, Thompson was the president and founder of All Equipment Capital & Leasing, Inc., where he managed a portfolio of high-quality equipment-secured loans and leases. Thanks to his background in financing and his experience as a small business owner on Long Island, Thompson understands the complex and varied needs of business clients, and can use that knowledge to help them create custom solutions.

"When looking to expand our Business Banking Group, we're not just seeking candidates with a long history in banking. We're looking for the people who can best counsel and guide business owners on how to manage their finances and grow their businesses," said Stephen Sipola, executive vice president and managing director of Astoria's Business Banking Group. "Both Pam and Jim bring that mix of extensive banking knowledge, combined with a keen understanding of what local businesses need to address in today's economy."

As part of the Business Banking Group, Werner and Thompson are focused on taking a high-touch, consultative approach to working with local small and mid-sized businesses. Whether Astoria is working with businesses to secure loans and credits lines, or is focused on optimizing their cash flows, the approach is the same – to find the solutions that work best for the business. By making use of Astoria's extensive local presence to provide greater access to decision-makers and knowledgeable experts, the Group can swiftly move to help owners address their business goals.

Since 2011, the Business Banking Group has grown its team from eight to 26 people, hiring relationship managers and business banking executives with an average of more than 20 years of business banking experience. The expansion of Astoria's Business Banking Group and the bank's re-entry into the multi-family lending market have proved to be critical components of Astoria's strategic shift in its balance sheet through repositioned assets and liabilities, resulting in a positive benefit on the net interest margin. Astoria's business core deposits have also increased by double digits for the second straight year.

"Community banks have a significant opportunity to provide Long Island's small and mid-market businesses with the local expertise that they cannot get from big banks. We operate in the markets we serve, and are able to make decisions faster because they are done within the community," continued Sipola.  "By expanding our business banking resources, we can build closer relationships and provide further consultation to Long Island's more than 200,000 small and mid-market businesses."

About Astoria Federal Savings
Astoria Financial Corporation (NYSE: AF), with assets of $16.2 billion, is the holding company for Astoria Federal Savings and Loan Association.  Established in 1888, Astoria Federal, with deposits in New York totaling $10.4 billion, is the largest thrift depository in New York and embraces its philosophy of "Putting people first" by providing the customers and local communities it serves with quality financial products and services through 85 convenient banking office locations and multiple delivery channels, including its enhanced website,  Astoria Federal commands the fourth largest deposit market share in the attractive Long Island market, which includes Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau, and Suffolk counties with a population exceeding that of 38 individual states.  Astoria Federal originates residential mortgage loans through its banking and loan production offices in New York, a broker network in four states, primarily along the East Coast, and through correspondent relationships covering nine states and the District of Columbia.  Astoria Federal also originates multi-family and commercial real estate loans, primarily on rent controlled and rent stabilized apartment buildings, located in New York City and the metropolitan area.


SOURCE Astoria Federal Savings