Bank hires 30 for local unit
Signature Bank, a publicly traded company with offices in New York City and on Long Island, said it had hired 30 veteran executives to staff a newly formed subsidiary headquartered in Melville that will focus on financing for equipment, transportation and taxi medallions. Signature Bank will also open a new private banking office in Hauppauge, with a four-person team. The new Melville-based unit, Signature Financial Llc, will be mostly staffed with executives from All Points Capital, a unit of Capital One, the bank said. All Points, a financing and leasing company, specializes in funding for independent lessors nationwide. Its current private client banking offices are in Garden City, Rockville Centre, Melville, Great Neck, Woodmere and Jericho as well as New York City and Westchester County. -- JOSEPH MALLIA
Oil dips on jobs, news abroad
Oil prices fell Monday on concerns about the economic recovery. West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark crude, fell 85 cents to $102.46 per barrel. Brent crude, which is used to price oil imported by U.S. refineries, and which is a better gauge of Long Island gasoline and fuel prices, slipped 76 cents to $122.67 per barrel. On Friday, the government reported the U.S. economy added 120,000 jobs in March -- half as much as each of the previous three months. Monday was the first day since that report that oil markets were open. The slower pace of hiring is raising concerns that growth in the economy and energy demand could weaken. Also, Iran announced over the weekend it is willing to discuss its nuclear program with the West. That eased fears of a prolonged standoff that could further squeeze world oil supplies.
Netflix eyes intuitive tweaks
Netflix executives John Ciancutti and Todd Yellin are trying to create a video-recommendation system that knows you better than an old friend. It's a critical mission as Netflix faces pressure from its Internet video rivals and subscribers still smarting from recent price hikes. A big part of Netflix's future rides on how much Ciancutti, Yellin and about 150 engineers can improve the software that draws up lists of TV shows and movies that might appeal to each of the video-subscription service's 26 million customers.
Diet drug approval delayed
Drug developer Vivus Inc. says that regulators will take another three months to review the safety strategy on its proposed anti-obesity drug Qnexa. The company says the Food and Drug Administration is now expected to make a decision on Qnexa by July 17. Previously the agency was scheduled to return a decision by April 17. Vivus says the FDA extended its review because it needed more time to evaluate the risk evaluation and reduction strategy Vivus has proposed. Vivus submitted that data to the FDA on Wednesday. Side effects associated with Qnexa include birth defects, heart palpitations, suicidal thoughts, and memory lapses. Shares of the Mountain View, Calif., company were off 8.25 percent, to $21.03 in after-hours trading.
Health intermediary starts up
A website that serves as a matchmaker between self-insured businesses and health care providers expects to post its first 30 requests from employers next week. Open Health Market was founded in early 2011 by a doctor in California, a lawyer in New Hampshire and a former benefits manager in Maine. It seeks to cut out the middleman when it comes to health care by allowing employers to submit requests for proposals for a category of medical services and procedures -- knee surgeries, for example, or cardiac care -- and have health care providers submit competing bids. The group has teamed up with Dallas-based ACAP Health, which consults with employers on strategies to reduce health costs. In the next week, 30 Texas corporations will post their requests on Open Health Market. -- AP