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STERLING BANCORP COMPLETES ZENITH FINANCIAL ACQUISITION

 NEW YORK, June 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Sterling Bancorp (NYSE: STL), whose principal subsidiary is Sterling National Bank & Trust Company of New York, today announced that having received regulatory approval from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the company has completed its previously announced acquisition of the business and assets of Zenith Financial Corporation, of Great Neck, N.Y. Zenith is a well-known, privately held national provider of consumer receivables financing with a loan portfolio of approximately $16 million. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
 Louis J. Cappelli, Sterling's chairman and chief executive officer, said, "We are very pleased with the acquisition of Zenith, which provides an opportunity to build business in Sterling's traditional New York metropolitan market as well as on a national level. This acquisition is the first under new senior management leadership and is part of our strategic plan to grow by acquiring banks and financial services companies.
 "The solid earnings performance of Zenith, when enhanced by Sterling's lower cost of funding, will be a strong contributor to the earnings growth of Sterling Bancorp," Mr. Cappelli said. Further, he said, "Zenith's expertise in consumer receivables financing, based on over 30 years of experience, complements the range of financial services Sterling offers its middle market customers and reinforces its market niche position. Further, we plan to expand Zenith's loan portfolio significantly and capitalize on the attractive margins offered by this business. As Sterling further strengthens its presence in this area, it will also benefit from Zenith's strong back-office operations and the unique software it has developed to monitor retail installment lending."
 John P. Murphy, 43, formerly vice president of Zenith, was named president of the newly formed Zenith Financial Services Company, a division of Sterling Bancorp, and becomes a member of Sterling's senior management team. Paul Singer, president of Zenith Financial Corporation, will join Sterling as a consultant.
 Zenith Financial Services Co. provides financing to dealers serving a number of market sectors, including households, schools, institutions and members of the military, and for a variety of products, including educational and teaching aids, housewares and consumer electronics.
 Sterling National Bank & Trust Company of New York, with offices in Manhattan and Queens, has been serving the banking needs of middle- market companies and high-net-worth individuals in the New York area since 1929.
 -0- 6/1/93
 /CONTACT: Roy Winnick or Robert Siegfried of Kekst and Company, 212-593-2655, for Sterling Bancorp/
 (STL)


CO: Sterling Bancorp; Zenith Financial Corporation ST: New York IN: FIN SU: TNM

WB-TM -- NY097 -- 4166 06/01/93 17:43 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 1, 1993
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