Corp. (the holding company)
May 1, 2009 Issue
The Most Powerful Name In Corporate News and Information
State Bank Corp.’s New CEO Is Focused On Leading The Organization Out Of A Very Difficult Operating Environment
State Bank Corp., headquartered in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, is the parent company of Mohave State Bank, the largest locally-owned bank in Mohave County, with $361 million in assets as of December 31, 2008. Mohave State Bank is a full-service bank providing deposit and loan products, and convenient on-line banking to individuals, businesses and professionals. The Bank was established in October 1991, and the holding company was formed in 2004. The Bank has six full-service branches: two in Lake Havasu City, two in Kingman, one in Bullhead City, and one in Yuma, Arizona. The Company is traded over-the-counter as SBAZ.
Brian M. Riley was recently promoted to from Chief Financial Officer to Chief Executive Officer of State Bank Corp. and Mohave State Bank. Mr. Riley brings over 25 years of community bank experience to his role. During his career, he has served as the CEO of Harbor Bank and Trust (in organization) in Southport, CT, President & CEO of PriVest Bank in Santa Ana, CA and Chief Financial Officer of Provident Savings Bank in Riverside, CA.
Mr. Riley holds a bachelors degree in Finance from California State Polytechnic University and an MBA from California Baptist University.
Interview conducted by: Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFOinterviews.com, Published – May 1, 2009
Mr. Riley: “My initial vision is to help lead this organization out of a very difficult operating environment within realm of community banking in Arizona.”
CEOCFO: What is happening in your area today?
Mr. Riley: “Arizona along with Nevada leads the nation in foreclosures. Since we are located between both Phoenix and Las Vegas, our operating environment is very challenging. We have experience a significant downturn in real estate prices. That has made the regional economy in Western Arizona very difficult.”
CEOCFO: What made you decide to take on the challenge of CEO at this point in time?
Mr. Riley: “I am personally a builder. I enjoy helping to improve different business lines and take things from one transformative state to another. When the board asked me to consider accepting the role, I was very interested.”
What is the plan; how do you go about making things better?
CEOCFO: What is the competitive landscape for you and how has that changed in the last few months?
Mr. Riley: “The competitive environment has remained relatively stable. There has been little change in the number of competitors. All of the banks operating in our area have suffered from the same economic downturn. No one is overly aggressive today in their business practices.”
CEOCFO: How do you attract new business in this environment?
Mr. Riley: “We emphasize what we do best and how a relationship with Mohave State Bank adds value. We have always been more of an advisor to our clients and they appreciate the support, particularly when times are tough.”
CEOCFO: What is an example of what a business customer might find different at State Bank than some of the others?
Mr. Riley: “One of the first things is that we do not send decisions someplace else to be made. For instance, local credit decisions are made locally. Part of this process is access to local decision-makers. Beside myself, our president Brad Payne is here and available to meet directly with customers who have a particular need. Finally, we just service our customers better than anyone else can. Our customers are our life blood and we appreciate the relationship that they share with us.”
CEOCFO: How many branches to do you have now?
Mr. Riley: “We have six offices located in Mohave and Yuma counties.”
CEOCFO: Do you see that changing, and would you like it to change?
Mr. Riley: “In the short-term, I do not envision the number of offices changing. Once we are past the current economic downturn, I can see us beginning to grow again. For years, we were one of the fastest growing and most profitable banks in the nation. I believe we can regain that distinction again in the near future.”
CEOCFO: What type of businesses do you primarily serve?
Mr. Riley: “We serve primarily the region’s small business owners and professionals.”
CEOCFO: How do you serve your customers in this environment and are they looking to you for leadership in a way that they haven’t before?
Mr. Riley: “It is even more critical today that the local community bank be a source of community strength. When confidence in the financial system is undermined, it is important that we provide a sense of stability and strength for our customers.”
CEOCFO: Are there products you would like to add to the mix?
Mr. Riley: “Our senior management team met recently to discuss strategic planning. We had a number of interesting initiatives, including new technology such as mobile banking. In terms of other products, we are looking at a rewards based checking program for our retail consumer customers.”
CEOCFO: What is important for you and the people that represent the bank, what are the key intangibles that you look for?
Mr. Riley: “I look for passionate people. It is so important that what someone does for a living ignites them and drives them to be the best. I am driven by people who are passionate about helping other achieve financial success.”
CEOCFO: What is the general financial picture for the company today?
Mr. Riley: “The current financial picture is challenging. In the past few months, we have experienced increasing nonperforming assets and occasional operating losses. Our capital base is strong and that will help lead us out of the current downturn.”
CEOCFO: Why should investors look at State Bank Corp?
Mr. Riley: “While our markets are challenged right now, this region has tremendous long-term demographic potential. As people retire, they seek the idyllic weather and natural beauty of Arizona. We already have very strong market share within the region and will continue to benefit by ongoing population growth.”
CEOCFO: Final thoughts, what should people remember most about State Bank Corp?
Riley: “We are
a dominant player in a very unique market. As the local community bank
leader, we have a true impact on our communities. That position of
leadership leads to good investment return. We have been one of the most
profitable banks in the country as will be so again.”
“My initial vision is to help lead this organization out of a very difficult operating environment within realm of community banking in Arizona.” - Brian M. Riley
ceocfointerviews.com does not purchase or
recommendation on stocks based on the interviews published.