BankUnited Closes Out Successful Year with Foundation for Continued Growth in 2017
MIAMI LAKES, Fla. (December 30, 2016) – The past year has been one of growth and preparation for the year to come for Miami Lakes, Fla.-based BankUnited, the largest independent depository institution headquartered in Florida with banking centers in Florida and the New York metropolitan area.
During 2016, planning was put into place for future growth as it was announced that Rajinder P. Singh, the Company’s Chief Operating Officer, will succeed John A. Kanas, the company’s Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, as President and CEO effective January 1, 2017. Mr. Singh, along with Mr. Kanas, was one of the founding organizers of BankUnited. Mr. Kanas will continue to serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors.
In other top leadership news, effective January 1, 2017, Thomas M. Cornish, who currently serves as the bank’s President, Florida region, will assume the role of Chief Operating Officer and BankUnited Executive Vice President Scott Lublin will take the lead of the New York commercial real estate lending business for the bank from Sam Giarrusso, who is retiring and will remain available to the BankUnited team on a consulting basis for the balance of 2017.
The year began with national recognition when Forbes magazine placed BankUnited as #14 on its list of “Best Banks In America,” above better known names including Capital One Financial, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase and Citigroup.
The foundation for continued growth was evident in BankUnited’s business lending lines. Effective January 2016, subsidiaries Bridge Capital Leasing and United Capital Business Lending were merged into a single legal entity, Bridge Funding Group, Inc., which specializes in franchise and equipment financing. Daniel McKew was named president, responsible for leading the company’s loan origination, underwriting, syndication and operations activities and Greg Faherty was appointed director of operations responsible for managing and expanding the company’s infrastructure.
Recent data released by the Small Business Administration for its fiscal year which ended on September 30, 2016 ranked BankUnited as the 16th largest SBA 7(a) lender in the United States by lending volume. During the year, the BankUnited small business finance team grew its footprint in Florida and expanded into Washington, Michigan and Wisconsin.
A focus on hiring and retaining top talent has remained a priority. As part of BankUnited’s robust employee wellness program, the year ended with the creation of a state-of-the-art employee gym at BankUnited’s Miami Lakes corporate headquarters which contains training equipment including machines and free weights and which will offer health education events and group exercise classes. In addition, the bank’s Dollars for Doers Program made its inaugural grants to nonprofit organizations nominated by employees and to which they contribute their time. During the year, BankUnited employees logged more than 1,400 volunteer hours in their communities.
BankUnited’s commitment to financial literacy was honored for a second consecutive year at the Innovation in Financial Education Awards presented by Nasdaq and EverFi. BankUnited’s continued efforts in 2016 to improve the financial awareness of young people included the Youth About Business Summer Business Camp and Central Islip Senior High School Financial Scholars Program in New York and South Florida initiatives such as the 4 Downs for Finance program with Miami Dolphins Wide Receiver Jarvis Landry, the Urban League of Palm Beach County Financial Empowerment Center Credit Boot Camp, City of Fort Lauderdale Housing Authority Step Up Apprentice Financial Empowerment Series, and Miami-Dade Economic Advocacy Trust Teen Court “Get Money” Week. In addition, BankUnited provided more than $1 million in grants and contributions to numerous organizations which support the bank’s affordable housing and financial education initiatives in the communities where it operates.