Signature Financial Launches New Business Lines, Appoints Mehosky and Jones as Leaders

Signature Financial, the specialty finance subsidiary of Signature Bank, launched two business lines: vendor industrial finance (VIF) and dealer lease and rental (DLR).

The VIF division will target manufacturers, vendors and dealers who provide finance and leasing options for their customers. The VIF division will focus primarily on the machine tool, construction, materials handling and commercial transportation sectors as well as on information technology and healthcare vendors.

The DLR division will provide funding for franchised truck dealerships that cater to middle market businesses requiring trucks and trailers to deliver goods and services.

Signature Financial named Michael Mehosky to the newly created post of vice president and director to lead the VIF division. In this capacity, he will be responsible for oversight of the platform, including building and managing the team.

With 20 years of commercial equipment experience, Mehosky joined from Peoples United Bank, where he served as senior vice president and sales manager for its capital and leasing division. In this position, he managed the vendor industrial sales team and established specific customer programs and processes. Mehosky also held industry-related roles at Siemens Financial Services, GE Capital and M&T Bank.

In addition, Signature Financial appointed Geoff Petersen, currently vice president and managing underwriter, to lead risk management for the new VIF team. Petersen has been with Signature Financial since 2013 as a senior underwriter and portfolio manager. He has been dedicated to handling a range of industries in support of both the national intermediary and capital markets business channels.

Prior to joining Signature Financial, Petersen spent nine years at GE Capital, supporting vendor-driven businesses, primarily in the healthcare and transportation spaces. Peterson began his career at Associates/Citi Capital, where he advanced into roles of increasing responsibility during a six-year tenure.

Signature Financial also named Kevin McDonald and Joseph Tomkiewicz executive sales officers (ESOs) to support the new VIP division. McDonald and Tomkiewicz will each originate and manage relationships across the spectrum of equipment manufacturers, vendors and dealers.

McDonald joined Signature Financial from TIAA Bank, where he was a business development manager for multiple equipment verticals. He also previously held sales and finance roles at Makino Capital Services, Siemens Financial Services and Wells Fargo Equipment Finance.

Tomkiewicz honed his equipment finance expertise in several roles of increasing responsibility during the past 10 years at Hyster-Yale Group, a manufacturer of material handling equipment. Prior to joining Signature Financial, he was director of industry strategy and solutions for Hyster-Yale, handling client relationships with responsibility for the North American business.

To lead the DLR platform, Signature Financial chose Michael Jones, vice president and executive sales manager (ESM) for the firm’s national direct equipment business division. Jones will oversee sales, operations and business development of the new division. Jones also will continue to serve as an ESM for the national direct equipment business, covering the Southwest territory.

Jones originally joined Signature Financial in 2015 from BancorpSouth Equipment Finance. Jones’ 22-year finance sales career has included originating business through franchised truck dealerships under programs such as the Idealease program.

In addition to Jones’ appointment, Signature Financial appointed Joel Ruf ESO and vice president for the new DLR business. In this position, Ruf will be responsible for national sales and business development.

Ruf has more than 20 years of related experience, most recently serving as senior vice president of dealer national accounts at Wells Fargo, a post to which he was promoted to from vice president of programs finance. In the national accounts role, Ruf helped grow Wells Fargo’s direct lending business to more than $1 billion in assets.

To help support the DLR business line, Jeffrey Utech joined Signature Financial from TCF Bank as vice president and managing underwriter. Utech has spent most of his career honing his expertise in transportation lending at TCF Bank, BMO Harris Bank, GE Credit and Navistar Financial. In addition to his specialized underwriting skill set, Utech has experience in portfolio management and operations related to the truck dealership leasing and rental niche.

“The launch of these platforms marks deeper market expansion for Signature Financial. The target clients across both of these new business lines complement our existing client base, and we are eager to bring our service-oriented, client-centric approach model to these sectors,” Walter Rabin, president and CEO at Signature Financial, said. “We are confident in the seasoned, entrepreneurial leadership we have put in place to head these new initiatives. The experience of these veteran professionals further cements new opportunities for Signature Financial and Signature Bank as we look to introduce our additional services and continue to grow the business nationally.”

“Signature Financial has grown into the 15th largest bank-based lender in the specialty equipment finance space, a feat achieved in less than nine years since its inception,” Joseph J. DePaolo, president and CEO at Signature Bank, said. “Our decision to enter into and expand within these areas speaks volumes to Signature Financial’s successes to date and bodes well for Signature Bank. We have deliberately diversified over the years to capture significant market opportunities, and our specialty finance arm has distinguished the bank in the marketplace.”

Petersen is based in Signature Financial’s headquarters in Melville, NY. Mehosky will be based in Hedgesville, WV, with McDonald in Charleston, SC, and Tomkiewicz in Greenville, NC. Both Jones and Ruf will work from satellite offices in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Utech is based in Arlington Heights, Ill.

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