New York Community Bank CFO, CRE lending head out

Departures follow two CEO changes in last six weeks

NYCB CFO, CRE Head Exits in Latest Exec Change
NYCB CEO Joseph Otting with John Adams and John Pinto (NYCB, New York Miultifamily/YouTube, Getty)

Two top executives are out at New York Community Bank.

John Pinto, the chief financial officer, and John Adams, the president of commercial real estate, will leave NYCB after more than two decades at the bank, The Real Deal has learned. General counsel Patrick Quinn is also exiting.

The bank named Craig Gifford its new CFO and Scott Shepherd head of commercial real estate lending, replacing Adams. Shepherd was managing director for the Ruth Group, a CRE deal sponsor and operator, and before that founded bridge lender Archbell Capital.

Bao Nguyen was tapped to succeed Quinn as general counsel and James Simons was brought over from First Citizens Bank to be special adviser to the CEO, a new position.

Pinto, Adams and Quinn are the latest NYCB executives to head for the door as a maelstrom of bad news engulfs the key lender to New York real estate owners, which is trying to restore the confidence of investors and customers.

In a memo to employees, CEO Joseph Otting said of the new hires, “it was important to appoint leaders to those roles with the requisite large bank experience and proven track record in building a high-performing financial institution with a strong risk and compliance framework.”

In January, the bank reported a surprise loss, axed its dividend and forecast that more distress would hit its multifamily loan book. The next month, the lender let longtime CEO Thomas Cangemi go.

In the same breath, the bank disclosed weaknesses with “internal controls related to internal loan review, resulting from ineffective oversight.”

About half of NYCB’s multifamily loans are backed by rent-stabilized buildings hit hard by New York’s 2019 rent law. With their properties’ revenues hamstrung by the legislation, owners have struggled to cover expenses, including mortgage payments. Many claim to be underwater.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

During the fourth quarter earnings call, Pinto described NYCB’s problem multifamily loans as “manageable.” But now someone else will be managing it.

On the heels of Cangemi’s exit, Alessandro DiNello, NYCB’s executive chairman and former CEO of Flagstar Bank, which NYCB acquired in late 2022, stepped up as CEO, but he lasted less than a week.

In early March, the bank’s share price took a nosedive, plunging 47 percent one morning, prompting the New York Stock Exchange to halt trading.

NYCB quickly snagged $1 billion in rescue capital, sourcing the equity from institutional investors, including former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s Liberty Strategic Capital. The stock stabilized and the bank averted collapse.

That same day, Otting, a former comptroller of the currency, was named CEO.

The capital infusion combined with the new leadership lifted shares from a year-to-date low of $2.73 to $3.46. The price remained above $3 until this Wednesday.

Before the late Friday afternoon announcement of Adams’ departure, NYCB’s stock dropped 5.3 percent Friday to $2.84. 

This article has been updated with the names of newly hired New York Community Bank executives.

Read more