SYRACUSE-Avant acquired 2.1 million newly issued shares of Reliance common stock for $4.25 million. Avant was formed in 1999 by an investor group led by the Falcone family of Syracuse–well-known commercial real estate developers/owners in upstate New York–for the purpose of building a financial service franchise through acquisitions and alliances.

Philip E. Zegarelli, president and chief executive officer of Reliance, says that the bank, which is an SBA lender and focuses strictly on commercial real estate and business loans, will be seeking to expand its operations in the Westchester County now that it has secured the Avant investment.

“With the threefold increase in our capital base, we look forward to expanding in Westchester County through additional branches and enhancing bank services and product lines in keeping with the needs of the Westchester marketplace,” Zegarelli notes. He adds that the bank will retain its headquarters operations at 1200 Mamaroneck Ave. where it occupies 5,400 sf of space.

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