Star Hill Financial Names Smith President of Equipment Finance Division

Star Hill Financial, a certified Women Business Enterprise, appointed Keith Smith president of its equipment finance division.

“Adding Keith Smith to our leadership team will help Star Hill expand our reach,” Hollis Bufferd, CEO of Star Hill Financial, said. “Keith has built a reputation as someone who can develop and lead a team to achieve outstanding results. He has worked with a wide range of credits from investment grade companies to startups across diverse equipment types from heavy machinery to software. He will give us the ability to immediate[ly] create new product offerings.”

Smith has more than 20 years of experience leading equipment finance and franchise teams. Prior to joining Star Hill, he held the dual roles of president of both the equipment finance and franchise finance divisions for Sterling National Bank. In those roles, Smith led the divisions and grew the portfolio from $150 million to more than $2 billion in outstandings. Under his direction, Sterling became a top 50 equipment finance company, according to the Monitor 100. Before Sterling, Smith held sales and credit leadership roles at Siemens Financial Services, CitiCapital/Copelco, Lakeland Bank and Orix.

“I am honored to join the leadership team of the equipment finance business,” Smith said. “Taking care of customers is in our employees’ DNA, and we work hard every day to earn our customers’ business and their preference for our services. I am committed to maintaining that focus and investing for the future. We see a great opportunity to expand our services to additional vendors looking for a reliable partner.”

Star Hill was founded by Bufferd in 2016 to provide advisory services and equipment financing. Since that time, the equipment finance division has expanded through direct customer solutions, as well as partnerships with financial institutions and captive finance companies by providing them the ability to offer their customer base the option of using a minority lending partner. As a certified WBE (Women Business Enterprise), Star Hill’s goal is to help customers meet their diversity spend requirements while providing solutions that work for their company.

“Keith’s combined experience in both independent specialty finance companies and banks makes him an ideal fit to lead our equipment finance division,” Bufferd said. “Adding a leader of Keith’s caliber to lead our next phase of growth in the division is something that has been on our strategic plan for years, but the key was to find the right person. Keith is an incredibly strong cultural fit and will hit the ground running.”

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