Piermont Bank Launches in NY with Cai-Lee as President/CEO


Piermont Bank, a newly chartered full-service commercial bank in New York, is now open for business. Wendy Cai-Lee will serve as president and CEO of the new bank.


Piermont Bank has completed the required capital raise and received final regulatory approval from the New York State Department of Financial Services and the FDIC. It is the first independent de novo bank charter approval for New York State in the last decade. It is a FDIC designated Minority Depository Institution and a women-led and women majority board bank.

Piermont Bank was founded by a group of senior banking executives, each with decades of financial services experience.

Cai-Lee is a former executive vice president of East West Bank, where she was responsible for overseeing its consumer banking, real estate and commercial lending businesses and built successful de novo lending businesses across several industries and geographies. She started her banking career with Chase and spent her entire career in financial services.

Chief Financial Officer Frank Fusco is the former CFO of Astoria Bank, which was once a $20 billion plus bank that was successfully merged into Sterling National Bank. Chief Banking Officer Steve LaFredo, spent the majority of his banking career with CitiBank in various roles in corporate, commercial and private banking. Chief Credit Officer Robert Tolomer most recently served as the CCO at Greater Hudson Bank (currently part of ConnectOne Bank). Chief Information Officer Robert J. DeStefano is the former CIO of Astoria Bank and has extensive technology and operations experience.

Turnaround Pros Launch MACCO Restructuring Group

Drew McManigle, a seasoned interim leader and restructuring professional, launched MACCO Restructuring Group.

Based in Houston with a national reach, MACCO provides senior interim leadership and financial advisory services to middle-market companies and their management. MACCO also provides financial advisory services to lenders and lending syndicates, including fiduciary services such as acting as a receiver, assignee or post-Chapter 11 plan trustee.

Prior to establishing MACCO, McManigle founded and operated The McManigle Company, a boutique advisory and interim management firm.

McManigle is joined by Webb Stickney as managing director. Stickney has served as a leader holding titles such as CEO, COO, or CFO for privately owned companies in industries as diverse as food manufacturing, defense contracting and sports franchises.

Kathy Mayle, MBA, also joins MACCO as senior financial analyst with comprehensive analytical and financial skills, including extensive experience in working with clients preparing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.



AlixPartners Adds Wood to M&A Team

AlixPartners has added Nick Wood as a managing director in its M&A Services practice in London. Wood joins the firm’s EMEA M&A Services team, which helps clients drive growth through M&A, private equity fund raisings, debt raising and refinancing transactions. Prior to joining AlixPartners, Wood spent 20 years at Deloitte, where he was a partner in the Industrials practice. 

First Midwest Bank Hires Team to Expand ESOP Platform

First Midwest Bank is expanding its specialty lending capabilities by hiring a team of bankers experienced in lending to ESOP-owned companies. First Midwest’s new ESOP Finance Group will have a national lending platform and provide expertise in ESOP-based ownership transition to its relationship bankers and customers.

CIT Leads $60MM Financing for Carolina Restaurant Group

CIT Group served as sole lead arranger of a $60 million financing for Carolina Restaurant Group, operators of 108 Wendy’s restaurant franchises across North Carolina and South Carolina. Based in Charlotte, NC, CRG has been in business since 1993 and has grown to become one of the nation’s largest operators of Wendy’s franchises. It intends to use the financing to recapitalize the company, remodel existing franchise units and develop new restaurants.

Citibank Upsizes Global Eagle Term Loan

Global Eagle Entertainment has completed a $40 million upsizing of its senior secured term loan due 2023, as well as an amendment to its term loan to reduce scheduled principal repayments over the next six quarters by an aggregate of approximately $26 million. According to a related 8-K filing, Citibank served as administrative agent for the first lien amendment. The company also entered into a second amendment to securities purchase agreement and amendment to security agreement among the company, the guarantors and Cortland Capital Market Services as collateral agent.

Encina Upsizes Credit Facility to $500MM

Encina Business Credit has upsized its senior credit facility to $500 million in total commitments from 12 institutions. This increase in facility size will enable the firm to continue scaling its portfolio of asset-based loans.

CIT Asset Management Expands Lending Capacity

CIT Group has expanded its investment management and advisory capabilities, which will provide increased capacity and flexibility to finance private equity sponsor-owned middle market companies across a diverse range of industry sectors. Under the new arrangement, CIT Asset Management, CIT’s registered investment advisor unit, will offer expanded cash flow-based revolving and term loan options to qualified borrowers though a managed financing vehicle funded by an A-rated insurance company.

Presidential Financial Changes Name to MidFirst Business Credit

Presidential Financial (PFC) will be changing its name to MidFirst Business Credit. This will allow PFC to align more closely to MidFirst Bank, its parent company, while continuing to provide best-in-class asset-based lending and banking services.

Gerber Expands to West Coast, Park to Head New Office

Gerber Finance launched a West Coast office. Ed Park has been named senior vice president/west coast regional manager and is relocating from New York to Santa Monica, CA to lead the new office, assisted by Tammy Rouah. Park started his banking career at Comerica Bank in Los Angeles and then spent the majority of his banking career in New York with Bank Leumi and Flushing Bank before joining Gerber Finance in May.

Conover & Stotzer Join FTI Restructuring Team

FTI Consulting has appointed Christopher Conover and Bill Stotzer as managing directors within its Corporate Finance & Restructuring segment.

Conover, who will be based in Washington, D.C., joins FTI Consulting’s Office of the CFO Solutions practice. He brings particular expertise in the real estate and financial institutions industries, and will bolster the firm’s interim management capabilities. Stotzer, who will be based in Chicago, joins FTI Consulting’s Business Transformation practice, bringing more than 20 years of experience in operations, finance functions and corporate strategic planning. He specializes in strategic sourcing, procurement, supply chain and cash flow optimization.

Encina Provides $45MM Facility to Hydroponic Products Supplier

Encina Business Credit has provided a $45 million senior secured credit facility to a supplier of indoor gardening and hydroponic products. The facility consists of a revolving line of credit based on accounts receivable and inventory. Loan proceeds were used to refinance an existing facility, and to meet the working capital required to effectuate its plan. •