Simmons Bank announced Tuesday (Aug. 10) the addition of an experienced 11-member commercial finance team led by industry veterans Lee Palm, Brian Shapiro and Phil Mulder.
Palm will lead the group as president of Simmons’ new Commercial Finance business unit. Shapiro will serve as managing director heading up the transportation and marine business, while Mulder will oversee the credit function as the division’s head of credit and risk.
The trio will lead Simmons new equipment finance team that will primarily focus on business aviation, OTR trucking, franchise finance, marine financing, and a specialized buy/sell desk function.
“Lee brings extensive industry experience building and leading successful commercial finance businesses and the relationships he’s developed will benefit Simmons as we look to further expand and diversify our commercial banking capabilities,” said Matt Reddin, executive vice president and chief banking officer at Simmons.
“Being able to add an entire team with the expertise and skillset that encompasses all of the business verticals necessary to begin operations represents a unique ‘plug and play’ opportunity that will allow us to immediately hit the ground running,” added Reddin. “Equally important, we’ll be able to offer our commercial finance customers a deeper banking relationship with access to our full array of complementary commercial banking and wealth management products and services.”
Palm most recently served as president of commercial finance at TCF Bank, a $50 billion asset bank formed through the merger of Chemical Bank and TCF Bank. In this role, he developed a successful de novo business plan to establish a commercial lending business targeting corporate aviation, inland marine and rail, trucking, healthcare finance and franchise finance.
“Having had multiple opportunities to start-up significant and successful platforms for both banks and large commercial finance companies, my role will be to utilize the strong capital base afforded us and to replicate those successes as we weave our group into the fabric of Simmons,” Palm said. “I’m excited about leading a high-performance team of commercial finance professionals to brand our bank in key areas of expertise that will contribute to Simmons’ long-term growth strategies designed to build shareholder value.”
The other team members include: Tom Vasilakos, Rick Riecker, Chuck Fletcher, Cabel Finch, Andy Chiarenzelli, Jim Lewis, Larry Roegner, and David Lyle.