Northwest Bank Adds President, Managing Director and Senior Credit and Risk Officer to New Commercial Finance Group

February 9, 2023

Columbus, OH – Financial industry veterans Lee Palm, Brian Shapiro and Phil Mulder have joined Northwest Bank, a full-service financial institution offering a complete line of business and personal banking solutions, to lead the bank’s new Commercial Finance Group that will focus on business aviation, long-haul (OTR) trucking, inland/offshore marine financing and general equipment loans in the middle market to large corporate finance space.

This new capability broadens Northwest’s commercial loan offering both across the bank’s four state footprint, and throughout the eastern United States.

Palm will lead the new group as president.Lee Palm.jpg

“Lee’s extensive industry experience building successful equipment finance businesses and the key relationships he’s developed will greatly benefit Northwest Bank as we expand into this new offering,” said Mark Reitzes, senior executive vice president, Commercial Banking. “We are excited to enter this commercial space and proud to launch the team we’ve assembled to focus on equipment finance as we continue to grow and diversify.”

Palm has been part of senior and executive management for more than 20 years. Most recently, he served as president of commercial finance at TCF Bank, a $50 billion bank formed through a merger of Chemical Bank and TCF Bank, where he developed a successful de novo business plan to establish a commercial lending business targeting corporate aviation, inland marine and rail, trucking, healthcare and franchise finance.  

Of his new opportunity, Palm said, “having had multiple opportunities to start-up significant and successful platforms for both banks and large commercial finance companies, I am excited to replicate those successes and integrate our group and capabilities into Northwest Bank. We’ve built a high-performance team of equipment finance professionals and we look forward to helping companies meet their diverse capital needs.”

Ben Shapiro.jpg

Also joining the team as managing director of the Northwest Bank Commercial Finance Group, Brian Shapiro brings more than 35 years of experience in the commercial lending space.

Most recently, Shapiro served as executive director of commercial finance at Chemical Bank, which merged into TCF Bank and later Huntington Bank.

Phil Mulder joins the team as the group’s head of credit and risk and comes with more than 20 years of experience at both JP Morgan and Citizens Asset Finance. At Citizens, Mulder lead underwriting and portfolio management for the Western U.S. and the Specialty Verticals, including corporate aircraft, rail and indirect lending.

About Northwest Bank

Northwest Bancshares, Inc (Nasdaq: NWBI) is a $14 billion asset financial services company headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, and the parent company of Northwest Bank, a Pennsylvania chartered savings bank headquartered in Warren, Pennsylvania. The Company serves consumers, small businesses, corporations, and municipalities with a diverse offering of banking, lending, payments, and wealth management solutions. As of December 31, 2022, Northwest Bank operates 142 full-service branches across Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio and Indiana and provides customers fee-free access to more than 55,000 ATMs across the United States.