Axos Bank builds out new fund finance team

Ex-Signature Bank managing director Trevor Freeman is making hires to build out a new subscription line lending program.

San Diego-headquartered Axos Bank, which is looking to build a subscription line lending program in the wake of the fall or rescue acquisition of three major players in the market, is building out its team. It started with the hire of Trevor Freeman, one of the founders of Signature Bank’s Fund Banking Division.

Freeman joined the bank on May 1 as senior vice-president, managing director and head of fund finance for Axos, based in New York. He left Signature on April 28 after nearly five years with the bank. Before that, he was a managing director at Silicon Valley Bank for less than a year. He also worked in Citi’s private bank for 13 years, before that.

This week, Axos added Michael Ciarlo, also a former Signature employee, as treasury relationship manager, according to Ciarlo’s LinkedIn. Ciarlo, who is also New York-based, had the same title in the fund banking division at Signature, and held various other related roles there since he joined in July 2014.

Private Funds CFO understands that Axos will add further personnel over the next month or two.

Axos Bank is one of a rumored handful of banks that are planning to make an entrance into subscription lending after Silicon Valley Bank was taken into receivership by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in early March, followed swiftly by the collapse of Signature and the rescue of First Republic by JPMorgan. The events widened a supply and demand gap that the subscription credit line market had experienced since the war in Ukraine began in February last year, throwing the global economic outlook into chaos. Banks already nearing concentration and balance sheet limits pulled back from new lending.

SVB has since been sold to family owned First Citizens Bank, which is said to be servicing existing lines, though whether it plans to continue sub line lending is uncertain. It is also unclear if JPM will continue FRB’s existing platform, though it also is said to be servicing existing lines.

Private Funds CFO‘s June/July cover story explores more fully the effect of the collapses on the broader fund finance market.