Pub. 2 2020 Issue 9

12 | HOMETOWN BANKER | HOMETOWNBANKER.ORG NURTURING SEEDLINGS OF BUSINESSES HOW ENTERPRISE BANK CHANGED THE BANKING MODEL W hen you can’t find what you are looking for, sometimes you have to create it yourself. In 1998 a group of entrepreneurs and business associates in Western Pennsylvania found, in their effort to start and build businesses, there was a void in the banking industry for serving their population. These passionate business creators were looking for a bank that wasn’t too small to handle the lending needs of a startup business, yet so big that small businesses weren't viewed as a risk. A list was compiled of all the things these small-business owners wanted from their financial institution — and the seed for Enterprise Bank was planted. “We knew what we needed and didn’t need,” shares Chuck Leyh, President and CEO, Chairman of the Board and founding member. “We wanted partnerships and relationships. We needed a financial institution who understood the challenges of starting and running your own business. We needed someone who would be there for every stage of development.” Headquartered in Allison Park, PA, Enterprise Bank’s core operating philosophy is assisting the growth of small businesses. Their focus is on providing funding and support services to businesses in a startup, growth or distressed cycle. With only one brick and mortar location, and no retail consumer business, their forward- thinking model bypasses the traditional platform service and teller positions. Instead, relationship managers (RMs) go out into the community to interact with their clients. “Our concept was to ‘go’ — to create relationships to acquire clients,” says Leyh. "RM's" are onsite with the client. They physically see the collateral for loans. We know our clients personally, are there for them, understand their dreams and visions — and help them make it happen.” Central to this unique model is how each relationship manager runs their own business. They have personal financial interest and liability in clients’ portfolios and are responsible for their bottom line. This includes costs for staff’s salary and benefits, sales development and overhead expenses, and their own compensation. The personal responsibility gives an RM control over who they work with and to develop a loan and deposit portfolio structured for success. “As the single point of contact at Enterprise Bank, our RM’s role is more of a business advisor and consultant,” shares Lori Cestra, EVP/COO and PACB Chair. “Most business owners and entrepreneurs are knowledgeable about their product or service, but not about cash flow, marketing, bookkeeping, etc. This is where Enterprise Bank’s model is different from a traditional bank. Our RM’s and support services help our clients to operate and manage their business.” Over the years, Enterprise Bank has created By Diane M. Sweeney