Press Release

Santander Commercial Banking Appoints Two New Leaders


Santander Bank, N.A. today announced the appointments of Donna Cleary to Market Manager and Jim Bravyak to Head of Underwriting & Portfolio Management. In her new role, Cleary will lead an additional team of bankers to focus on the vast opportunity with middle market companies in the New York City and Long Island markets. Bravyak will assume Cleary’s previous role, leading Underwriting and Portfolio Management. Both executives will report to Joe Abruzzo, Head of Commercial Banking for Santander Bank.

Cleary has been with Santander for four years, most recently serving as Head of Underwriting & Portfolio Management. Prior to Santander, Cleary worked at Allied Irish for over 15 years in various client-facing roles. Her seasoned credit skills and collaborative style of management assisted in transforming prior functions and positions her well to help further accelerate the success the Bank has had in the New York Metro region. Bravyak joins Santander with more than 20 years of industry experience. He was most recently the Head of US Wholesale Credit Management at HSBC and served in various underwriting roles during his nearly 11-years with the firm. Prior to HSBC, Bravyak worked in various underwriting roles at CIT and GE Commercial Finance.

The depth and breadth of Donna’s experience and expertise coupled with her energy and passion for building inclusive and high-performing teams will serve our clients well as they seek to fulfill their strategic business objectives. In identifying a successor for Donna, as Head of Underwriting & Portfolio Management, Jim’s proven track record as a seasoned banker was a huge draw. His unique background and his fresh perspective will help us to further streamline and simplify our processes while continuing to manage our risks responsibly.

Joe Abruzzo
Head of Commercial Banking for Santander Bank

In addition to creating Cleary’s new role, the business is adding additional bankers to supplement its existing coverage of the New York Metro region. “The success to date of our New York/New Jersey Market, under Ellen Marshall’s leadership, has been proof of the region’s potential and our need to invest further in the wealth of opportunity here,” said Abruzzo.

Donna Cleary, Market Manager

“I’m looking forward to bringing creative solutions to our clients and working with our exceptional team to help bring more of Santander’s unique capabilities to more clients in the New York Metro region. Extending our coverage and creating further infrastructure will help us meet our clients’ needs in one of the biggest markets in the world.”

Donna Cleary - Commercial Banking - Santander Bank
Jim Bravjek - Commercial Banking - Santander Bank
Jim Bravyak, Head of Underwriting & Portfolio Management

“I am excited to join Santander and lead Commercial Banking’s Underwriting and Portfolio Management team. Collaboration within this sector is essential, and I look forward to working with our team to enhance our systems and processes and ensure that we are well positioned to support our clients.”

Cleary is a graduate of UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School in Dublin and the National University of Galway, Ireland. A resident of Long Island, she will work out of the Bank’s New York City and Melville, LI offices. Bravyak is a graduate of Bentley University and is based in Conshohocken, PA.


Media Contact

Santander Bank, N.A. Media Contact

Nancy Orlando

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