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Signature Bank expands private client banking network


Signature Bank, a New York-based full-service commercial bank, has appointed two new private client banking teams.

Anne Kelny Denebeim, named Group Director and Senior Vice President, leads a three-person team, based out of the Bank’s headquarters in Midtown Manhattan and San Francisco. Over the course of her career, Denebeim, a veteran banker with more than four decades of experience, has garnered strong banking relationships with a large network of education and not-for-profit clients throughout the nation. Based on this expertise and these extensive national relationships, Denebeim will spend her time between New York City and San Francisco, providing highly personalized client service. Before joining Signature Bank, she served as Managing Director-Preferred Banking at First Republic Bank in San Francisco for 16 years. She also held cash management roles at The Pacific Bank and Manufacturers Hanover Trust, among others.
Joining Denebeim’s team are Michael Ahmed, named Associate Group Director and Vice President, and Jennifer Choi, who will serve as Senior Client Associate. Ahmed, with 13 years of banking experience, was formerly District Manager-Managing Director at First Republic Bank in New York City for five years, where he focused on establishing new banking relationships and also managed two branches. Earlier, he spent eight years at Citibank as both a personal and business banker as well as branch manager. Choi previously spent seven years at First Republic Bank as a Preferred Banker, based in San Francisco. She also worked at Bank of America as a personal banker for seven years prior.
Additionally, the Bank appointed Monica Vargas and James Yu as Group Directors and Senior Vice Presidents. They will co-lead a five-person team that has worked together for nearly five years at Citibank. The team will be based at the Bank’s private client office at 485 Madison Avenue in New York City.
Vargas, bringing 15 years of financial-related experience to her new role, most recently was a Citigold Relationship Manager in Midtown Manhattan, where she focused on catering to the high-net-worth client portfolio she built. She also was a Vice President and Financial Advisor at both JP Morgan Securities and M&T Investment Group previously.
Yu was Vice President and Branch Manager for a Midtown Manhattan Citibank branch and earlier, a Vice President and Sales Manager at the institution’s world headquarters in New York City, spending nearly eight years there. His concentration lies in serving commercial clients, such as investment companies, physicians, charitable organisations and high-net-worth individuals.
Cranston A. Humphrey, Safraz Deen and Kristina Kozikott all join the Vargas-Yu team as Associate Group Directors and Vice Presidents. Humphrey, with 11 years of banking experience, also was a Citigold Relationship Manager at his former institution. He worked at the Citibank global flagship branch at 399 Park Avenue in New York City, primarily focusing on providing wealth management services for a portfolio of high-net-worth clients. Earlier, he was a Private Client Banker at JP Morgan Chase.
Deen was a Branch Manager, Vice President at Citibank’s 200 Park Avenue branch for 12 years before joining Signature Bank. In this capacity, he oversaw daily branch operations, developed a team of 11 bankers and managed a solid book of business spanning loans, deposits and investments.
For the past four years, Kozikott was a Citigold Relationship Manager based at a Midtown Manhattan branch, where she focused on wealth management for the affluent client base. During her 10-year banking career, she was a Private Client Banker at JP Morgan Chase in New York City and Operations Specialist at CapitalOne on Long Island.
“Both teams bring extensive experience to our banking network and represent the exact types of veteran banking professionals that thrive at Signature Bank. These professionals prefer our single-point-of-contact approach, which affords them a distinct client-centric platform from which to conduct their banking practices for the benefit of their clients,” says Joseph J DePaolo, Co-founder, President and Chief Executive Officer at Signature Bank.
“In the case of Kelny and her team, their depth and breadth on both coasts will allow the Bank to expand its client relationships from the East to West Coast, particularly in the non-profit and educational sectors. Throughout the years, Kelny developed a strong foothold in these areas, and her ability to provide extremely personalised care to these clients will deepen our geographic reach and extend our penetration across these specialty sectors. Monica, James and their team members have worked together for a number of years. At Signature Bank, they are looking forward to a more streamlined model that affords the team time to focus on efficiently meeting the needs of their client base and financially caring for them in a highly attentive manner,” he says.

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