NEW YORK, April 15, 2008 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) - City National Bank has established a new Commercial Banking team at its New York Regional Office. The new team expands the office's capabilities to include all types of entrepreneurial and middle-market business lending, in addition to the specialized financial services it already provides to entertainment and law firms.

The New York Regional Office, located at 400 Park Ave. in New York, serves City National clients who conduct business on both coasts, as well as affluent individuals, entrepreneurs, executives, professionals and other commercial and private banking clients who reside or do business in New York.

The new unit is led by Senior Vice President Michael Vasami, who joins City National after a 22-year career at HSBC Bank USA. At HSBC Bank, he directed its Premier Corporate and Professional Services Group, and most recently, was responsible for all branch expansion initiatives in the Metro New York area.

In addition to Vasami, the new Commercial Banking team also includes three former officers from HSBC Bank's Premier Corporate and Professional Services Group: Mario Colon, who previously was first vice president and cluster branch manager; Joseph Grunwald, formerly vice president and senior relationship manager; and Luis E. Gonzalez, who had served as a Premier relationship officer.

Also joining the new City National team are Edward M. Lewando, former branch manager with M&T Bank in New York; and Sharon G. Knudsen who, during her career at NatWest Bank, served as assistant manager of its Long Island branch.

"Michael and his team bring to City National a record of success providing banking services to middle-market companies and affluent clients," said Martha Henderson, executive vice president and manager of the bank's Entertainment Division, who oversees the New York Regional Office. "Their significant expertise expands our ability to meet all the financial needs of our clients on both coasts."

"We're thrilled to join an organization that truly understands relationship banking. City National's history serving entrepreneurs and reputation for high-touch service are legendary," said Vasami. "Having all our financial services and the expertise of our bankers, mortgage team, cash management, wealth management, and commercial credit professionals available here in New York allows us to provide our clients with a unique full-service experience."

Services offered by City National's New York Regional Office include commercial lending and cash management, foreign exchange and international letters of credit, business trust and investment services, and private banking and wealth management to middle-market companies, nonprofit organizations and professional services companies, particularly law, accounting, medical and architectural firms, and the professionals employed by those organizations.

Michael Vasami

Michael Vasami is senior vice president and manager of the new Commercial Banking team. During his 22-year career at HSBC Bank, he directed its Premier Corporate and Professional Services Group, and most recently, was responsible for all branch expansion initiatives in the Metro New York area.

At HSBC, he established its first team targeting the affluent African American market segment, and established an international joint venture among other bank units in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico. Before that, he directed corporate training and development for HSBC North America, managed up all branch expansion initiatives in Metro New York, and oversaw the New York City market area for small business and branch banking.

A native of New York, Vasami earned a bachelor's degree from Fordham University in New York. He is a Certified Financial Planner and holds Series 6 and 63 securities licenses.

He is chairman of the board of directors of the Lakeside Family and Children Services, a New York-based nonprofit organization serving at-risk children.

Mario Colon

Mario Colon is vice president and senior relationship manager. He previously served with HSBC Bank USA as first vice president and cluster branch manager. In that capacity, he was the commercial segment leader for the 26 branches in the bank's Midtown region. Earlier in his 20-year banking career, he managed several Metro New York branch offices of Citibank and NatWest Bank.

A native of New York, Colon earned a bachelor's degree in economics from Fordham University. He holds Series, 7, 24 and 63 securities licenses.

Joseph Grunwald

Joseph Grunwald is vice president and senior relationship manager. Before joining City National, he was vice president and senior relationship manager with HSBC Bank's Premier private banking division in New York.

During his 20-year banking career, he served as senior vice president and director of Safra Bank's Domestic Business Development unit. Grunwald is a native of New York and earned a bachelor's degree in economics from The City University of New York and an M.B.A. from Long Island University.

Edward M. Lewando

Edward Lewando is a vice president and relationship manager. He most recently served as a branch manager with M&T Bank in New York. Prior to that, he served 23 years with the former Fleet Bank, where he held a variety of commercial and private banking, consumer credit and marketing, customer service, sales and training positions.

Lewando is a native of New York.

Luis E. Gonzalez

Luis Gonzalez is assistant vice president and senior personal banking officer. A 12-year banking veteran, Gonzalez earlier served as a Premier relationship officer in HSBC Bank's Premier Corporate and Professional Services Group in New York.

Gonzalez served in the United States Army Reserves from 1992 to 2000. He is a native of New York.

Sharon G. Knudsen

Sharon Knudsen is assistant vice president and senior personal banking officer. Earlier during her career, she served as an assistant manager of NatWest Bank's Long Island branch. She also has held senior administrative and management positions in the construction and telecommunication industries and with nonprofit and legal services organizations.

A native of New York, Knudsen earned a bachelor's degree in business management from Molloy College and an M.B.A. degree from Dowling College.

About City National

City National Bank is the wholly owned subsidiary of City National Corporation (NYSE:CYN). It is backed by $15.9 billion in total assets, and provides banking, investment and trust services through 62 offices, including 15 full-service regional centers, in Southern California, the San Francisco Bay Area, Nevada and New York City. The company and its eight majority-owned investment affiliates manage or administer nearly $59 billion in client investment assets, including $37.3 billion under direct management.

For more information about City National, visit the company's Website at cnb.com.

The City National Bank logo is available at http://www.primenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=3143

CONTACT: City National Bank
Media Contact:
David Garcia
(213) 673-7610
david.garcia@cnb.com