The Washington Trust Company Expands Commercial Lending Office in Connecticut



The Washington Trust Company, a financial service company, expanded its Connecticut presence with the opening of a commercial lending office adjacent to its Washington Trust Wealth Management office. The bank also added three new vice presidents to the New Haven commercial lending office to develop and maintain commercial banking relationships throughout Connecticut.

Three new vice presidents join Washington Trust’s New Haven-based Commercial Banking team: Jeremy Canestri, vice president, cash management; Earnest Clayton, vice president, commercial real estate; and Lee Fernandez, Vice president, commercial real estate.

“With the opening of the New Haven commercial lending office, Washington Trust can support more businesses and municipalities by continuing to provide commercial & industrial (C&I) loans, commercial real estate (CRE) financing, and cash management services across the state,” Edward O. “Ned” Handy III, chairman and CEO of Washington Trust, said. “This expansion is vital to the Connecticut market as we believe there is growing demand for a bank like Washington Trust that offers a full line of deposit, lending, wealth management and digital banking services, along with a high level of personal customer service.”

Clayton joined Washington Trust as vice president, commercial real estate. Clayton has more than a decade of commercial lending experience, including C&I credit analysis, portfolio management, construction loan monitoring and SBA loan underwriting. He previously served as vice president, senior commercial credit analyst, with Patriot Bank.

Fernandez has more than 20 years of commercial real estate and banking experience and has been appointed vice president, commercial real estate. Fernandez has portfolio management experience in C&I, CRE and small business lending and joins Washington Trust from Ion Bank, where he served as senior vice president of commercial lending.

Canestri will serve as vice president, cash management, having joined Washington Trust from Webster Bank. Canestri has more than 15 years of banking experience, with 10 years of specialization in cash management operations and product development.

“We have a terrific team of commercial bankers who live, work, and have experience in the Connecticut market,” Handy said. “We look forward to being a key component to the growth and prosperity of the Connecticut economy.”


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