Kingdom and Europe. It entered the
U.S. market through its acquisition of
Sovereign Bank, recognizing the importance of the resilient American economy.
We are a local bank with strong international capabilities that prides itself
on having strong, long-term relationships with our clients. We believe
strongly in local relationship managers located within their markets:
Boston; Worcester; Hartford; New York
City; Short Hills, NJ; Philadelphia; and
Columbia, MD. We look to support
clients with financing requirements
ranging from $5 million to $50 million.
We generally market within our northeast footprint—from Virginia to Maine--but will seek opportunities outside our
market that align with our growth objectives. We have a high percent of direct
or club lead transactions and looking to
grow our positions and participations in
the syndication market.
We are generalist in nature, but do
have strong concentrations in the food
and beverage industry and with specific
expertise and knowledge in seafood
where the Bank has been lending for
over 30 years. We finance all types of seafood clients ranging from scallop processors to lobster pounds. Some banks are
uncomfortable lending in this space, but
our knowledge runs deep throughout
the organization, allowing us to expand
our market position.
We are currently looking to expand
our business through new initiatives and
have recently hired five new individuals
to the team to support our growth plans.
Every industry has its challenges and
opportunities. Clients in this indus-
try are challenged by commodity
type pricing, seasonality, changing
market conditions, ability to service
international companies and the need
to control and find reliable supply.
Santander’s international capabilities
and global market position, specifi-
cally in South America, Europe, UK and
Mexico have helped our clients grow.
Our customers are continuing to look
to Santander for support and advice in
these foreign markets.
I have a simple philosophy: a) practice
respect, b) understand the human side
of the equation, c) allow for new ideas
and disagreement, d) lead by example,
e) set high expectations, and f) stay
humble. Building a team is similar to
building a family. Team members want
to work hard and produce results,
but they also want to be appreciated
and feel a sense of accomplishment.
The market is constantly changing
and I’m looking for new concepts and
ideas to implement. You need to allow
your team members the freedoms to
succeed. I also want team members to
treat Sovereign Asset Based Lending
as their own personal business. It is
important to invest in each individual
to help them build their own Personal
Brand and define who they are in
the market. When you invest in team
members—they will invest in you.
Another strength of our team is
that we average over 20 years of asset-based lending experience and most of
us have been working together for a
long time. At Sovereign, we are more
than just colleagues—we’re friends.
I expect to see increased competitive-
ness in terms of structure and pricing.
It is as competitive as it was prior to
the recession. Banks have liquidity
and are looking for investments. New
issuances are at pre-recession levels.
However, only 25% of those new is-
suances are for new money and 40%
of the investors are institutions. We
are also seeing new ABL groups start-
ing and existing groups expanding
their lending parameters (higher hold
limits, credit appetite and strategic
In a market such as this, we need
to focus on what makes us success-
ful while at the same time implement
new initiatives that will expand our
lending capabilities and geographical
presence. Given the competitiveness
of the market, we have asked our team
member to change their habits and
explore new avenues for revenues.
Our clients are what make us most
successful and we will continue to
stay in front of these relationships,
adding as much value as we possibly
can. We know the competition is con-
stantly at their door. TSL
Michele Ocejo is editor-in-chief of The