Santander Bank Appoints New Commercial Banking Leaders

Santander Bank appointed Donna Cleary market manager and Jim Bravyak to head of underwriting and portfolio management.

In her new role, Cleary will lead an additional team of bankers to focus on opportunities with middle-market companies in the New York City and Long Island markets. Bravyak will assume Cleary’s previous role, leading underwriting and portfolio management. Both executives will report to Joe Abruzzo, head of commercial banking for Santander Bank.

Cleary has been with Santander for four years, most recently serving as head of underwriting and portfolio management. Prior to Santander, Cleary worked at Allied Irish for more than 15 years in various client-facing roles.

Bravyak joined Santander with more than 20 years of industry experience. He was most recently the head of U.S. wholesale credit management at HSBC and served in various underwriting roles during his nearly 11 years with the firm. Prior to HSBC, Bravyak worked in various underwriting roles at CIT and GE Commercial Finance.

“The depth and breadth of Donna’s experience and expertise coupled with her energy and passion for building inclusive and high-performing teams will serve our clients well as they seek to fulfill their strategic business objectives,” Abruzzo said. “In identifying a successor for Donna, as head of underwriting and portfolio management, Jim’s proven track record as a seasoned banker was a huge draw. His unique background and his fresh perspective will help us to further streamline and simplify our processes while continuing to manage our risks responsibly.”

In addition to creating Cleary’s new role, the business is adding additional bankers to supplement its existing coverage of the New York Metro region.

“The success to date of our New York/New Jersey market, under Ellen Marshall’s leadership, has been proof of the region’s potential and our need to invest further in the wealth of opportunity here,” Abruzzo said.

“I’m looking forward to bringing creative solutions to our clients and working with our exceptional team to help bring more of Santander’s unique capabilities to more clients in the New York Metro region. Extending our coverage and creating further infrastructure will help us meet our clients’ needs in one of the biggest markets in the world,” Cleary said.

“I am excited to join Santander and lead commercial banking’s underwriting and portfolio management team,” Bravyak said. “Collaboration within this sector is essential, and I look forward to working with our team to enhance our systems and processes and ensure that we are well positioned to support our clients.”


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