Suffolk in N.Y. Names Leaders of New Loan Office

Howard Bluver, the chief executive of Suffolk Bancorp, wasted little time in delivering on his promise to diversify its balance sheet.

The $1.6-billion-asset company has opened a new loan production office in Melville, N.Y., and formed two new lending teams, Suffolk said Tuesday.

Suffolk has hired John Pollock as a senior vice president and as team leader for one group while Bob Grady, who has been with Suffolk for seven years, will head the second team.

“I am extremely pleased to have leaders of John’s and Bob’s caliber heading up our Melville loan production office and I am confident that their teams of experienced and talented lenders will produce strong results for the bank as we move forward in building a diverse, high quality loan portfolio in our western expansion,” Michael Orsino, the chief lending officer at Suffolk, said in a news release.

Suffolk raised $25 million through a private placement with unidentified institutional investors and sold a portfolio of nonperforming and classified assets in September. This helped the company move past its tough 2011, when it took losses on real estate loans and had to delay reporting some of its financial results.

When Suffolk completed the loan sale and capital raise, it pledged to reposition its balance sheet. This includes deploying cash into higher-yielding loans and other interest-earning assets, Bluver said in the release.

Bluver had previously said that the company would look at expanding its lending efforts beyond its traditional foothold in eastern Suffolk County, into other parts of the county and Nassau County. He also sought to make more commercial loans.

The new loan office provides “direct access to what we view as perfectly matched market opportunities in western Suffolk and eastern Nassau counties, and we are excited to be taking this step so quickly,” Bluver said in a news release Tuesday.