First New England Financial adds to management team

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – First New England Financial, a part of the Capital One Financial/North Fork Bank family, has appointed Leigh Ackerman as the new vice president of sales and Kristin Smith as its new area sales manager, the company said in a press release yesterday.

Ackerman has been in the marine finance industry for more than 13 years. Prior to joining First New England Financial Ackerman was assistant vice president with Sterling Associates for the past 6 years. Her marine finance industry tenure began with Bank of America Marine Lending and continued with Seacoast Marine Finance.

“I’m excited about coming aboard because unlike the typical private bank-based yacht lenders, First New England Financial’s sole purpose is yacht loans,” Ackerman said. “I have a strong insight into to my clients’ needs and an understanding of the financing process to make the purchase of a pleasure yacht enjoyable and uncomplicated.”

Smith brings 11 years of lending and financial experience to First New England, including commercial and residential mortgage lending. Prior to joining First New England Financial, she was area sales manager for Trident Funding Corporation, where she was responsible for all aspects of boat and yacht financing for the company’s Fort Lauderdale location. Smith began her career with Equity Mortgage Corporation and later joined Gilman Yachts.

Smith and Ackerman are members in good standing with the Florida Yacht Brokers Association.

“We’re pleased to welcome Leigh and Kristin to First New England Financial,” said Michael Lynch, president. “Their extensive credentials, background and business savvy makes them a perfect fit for where we see ourselves growing over the next few years. Their addition to our company was just a natural progression to combine our strengths in a way that will be beneficial to everyone, especially our customers.”

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