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Nov 01, 2004

Signature Bank Announces Senior Management Promotions; Promotions Further Strengthen Bank's Foundation for Expansion

Signature Bank Announces Senior Management Promotions; Promotions Further Strengthen Bank's Foundation for Expansion

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 1, 2004--Signature Bank (Nasdaq: SBNY), a New York-based full-service commercial bank, announced today the promotion of several senior members of its management team, effective immediately.

Mark T. Sigona has been named Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, a newly created position. Sigona joined Signature as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at the time of its inception in 2000. The senior management team began working closely together at that time, preparing for the Bank's May 2001 launch. Previously, Sigona served as Senior Vice President and head of the Accounting Services Division of the Finance Group at Republic National Bank of New York, which he joined in March 1989. He held various positions during his 11-year tenure with Republic ranging from First Vice President of the Finance Division and Internal Audit Manager. Before joining Republic National Bank, Sigona also was a supervising senior accountant at KPMG Peat Marwick.

Eric R. Howell, Controller and Vice President of Finance, will assume the role of Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Howell also joined the Bank in 2000 as Vice President and Controller. Additionally, he has been serving as Chief Financial Officer of Signature Securities Group, the Bank's licensed broker-dealer and investment adviser. Prior to joining Signature, Howell was Controller at BlueStone Capital Partners, L.P. and its division. Howell also was an Associate Managing Director at Republic National Bank of New York, which he joined in 1992.

Concurrently, the Bank elevated Michael J. Merlo's position to Executive Vice President and Chief Credit Officer from Senior Vice President and Chief Credit Officer. Merlo has served as Chief Credit Officer since the Bank's founding. He had been a Senior Vice President at Fleet Bank, heading the Middle Market Group in Long Island before joining Signature. He had been with Fleet Bank for nine years. He joined Fleet by way of its acquisition of NatWest Bank and held various credit positions within both the large corporate and middle markets groups.

Signature Bank also appointed Michael Sharkey to the post of Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, a newly created position. He had been serving as Senior Vice President and Chief Operations Officer since the Bank's inception, and was also instrumental in its start-up. Before joining Signature, Sharkey spent several years as an Associate Managing Director at Republic National Bank of New York.

Commenting on the recent promotions, Joseph J. DePaolo, Signature's President and Chief Executive officer, noted: "This team has worked together for a long time. In the 3+ years since the Bank's opening, we have been growing very rapidly -- recently topping $2.4 billion in deposits and $3.0 billion in assets as of September 30, 2004. We now have 35 private client groups across 12 locations throughout the metropolitan New York area and continue to attract top banking professionals to expand the Bank. At this time, we deemed these promotions a necessary and important step in our expansion plans as they afford us greater focus on different aspects of our operations and business development. These individuals, along with other senior management members, were instrumental in helping Signature achieve the market leadership position it holds today. We are now in a very strong position to increase Signature's presence throughout the New York area and these management changes will serve as the ideal platform to accomplish that."

Scott A. Shay, Chairman of the Board, said of the changes: "These promotions solidify the management and organizational infrastructure of Signature as we continue our pursuit of growth in the New York banking market.

"Mark has been a gifted CFO since our inception while Eric brings a broad depth of experience to his new role. Mike Merlo's promotion reflects his significant contribution to Signature as well as the increased importance of lending as part of the Bank's growth strategy. Finally, Mike Sharkey's appointment to Chief Technology Officer highlights the central role that technology plays in modern banking, particularly within the Signature Bank organization. We look forward to the benefits our strengthened management team will bring to our clients and to all employees throughout the organization."

About Signature Bank

Signature Bank, member FDIC, is a New York-based full-service commercial bank with 12 private client offices located in the New York metropolitan area serving the needs of privately owned businesses, their owners and senior managers. The Bank offers a wide variety of business and personal banking products and services as well as investment, brokerage, asset management and insurance products and services through its subsidiary, Signature Securities Group Corporation, a licensed broker-dealer, investment adviser and member NASD/SIPC.

Since commencing operations in May 2001, the Bank has grown to over $3.0 billion in assets, over $2.4 billion in deposits, over $335 million in equity capital and approximately $798 million in other assets under management as of September 30, 2004.

Signature Bank's 12 locations are in: Manhattan: 261 Madison Avenue; 300 Park Avenue; 71 Broadway; 565 Fifth Avenue and 950 Third Avenue. Brooklyn: 26 Court Street and 84 Broadway. Westchester: 1C Quaker Ridge Road, New Rochelle. Long Island: 1225 Franklin Avenue, Garden City; 279 Sunrise Highway, Rockville Centre, 58 South Service Road, Melville and 923 Broadway, Woodmere.

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This press release may contain statements, including but not limited to, statements concerning future results of operations or financial position, borrowing capacity and future liquidity, future investment results, future credit exposure, future loan losses and plans and objectives for future operations, and other statements regarding matters that are not historical facts, that are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are not historical facts but instead are subject to numerous assumptions, risks and uncertainties, and represent only the Bank's belief regarding future events, many of which, by their nature, are inherently uncertain and outside of its control. Any forward-looking statements the Bank may make speak only as of the date on which such statements are made. It is possible that the Bank's actual results and financial position may differ, possibly materially, from the anticipated results and financial condition indicated in or implied by these forward-looking statements.


Investor Contact:
Eric R. Howell
Chief Financial Officer
(646) 822-1402 or

Media Contact:
Susan J. Lewis
(303) 804-0494 or