JPMorgan Chase & Co. has announced it has expanded its New England commercial banking team by adding four more employees to serve businesses throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Based in Connecticut, veteran banker James Clark joins Chase as a senior vice president focusing on serving mid-sized businesses. He joins Chase from Bank of America where he spent the majority of his 18-year career as a middle-market banker. Clark earned a bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn. and an MBA from Babson College in Wellesley, Mass.
PBN: How would you describe Chase’s new presence in Rhode Island?
CLARK: I recently joined Chase’s commercial banking team to focus on serving businesses in Rhode Island with more than $20 million in annual sales. I join a team of more than 30 employees who are solely focused on providing financial services to mid-sized businesses, corporations, municipalities, nonprofits and healthcare institutions in the New England area. So far, we have found businesses in Rhode Island to be very welcoming and interested in what we have to offer.
PBN: What will be your focus for Rhode Island customers?
CLARK: In Rhode Island, we are focused on mid-sized companies throughout a number of industries, including manufacturing, distribution, service, technology, and retail businesses. These can be family-owned businesses, public companies or private equity owned businesses.
PBN: How can Chase help mid-sized businesses?
CLARK: We feel that Rhode Island businesses will benefit from a full service commercial and investment bank that views this region as a growth market. Chase Commercial Banking serves more than 20,000 mid-sized companies nationally and our local bankers are supported by a team of credit, treasury, and client service professionals who can provide the global resources of JPMorgan. We offer products and services to help a business, no matter what their financial need is. We also have a robust international banking team that can help a business expand or operate overseas.
PBN: Chase is a large bank. Can it compete with the local banks?
CLARK: We have a dedicated team of local bankers who are from the region and have been serving the market for a long time. Our local bankers can also deliver the global resources of JPMorgan Chase to help a business grow. We have made significant investments in our client facing technology; we have a physical commercial banking team presence overseas and our strong balance sheet allows us to continue to lend to businesses. In fact, Chase Commercial Banking lending is up 17 percent from the same period last year and we have consistently increased our loan balances over the last eight quarters.
Additionally, our client service philosophy is people-centric: Our clients are not dependent on an 800 number or automated voice response system for support. In addition to their banker, clients have access to a dedicated client service professional that can help with day-to-day business transactions, answer treasury questions or provide a full range of banking support.
PBN: What prompted the focus on the region?
CLARK: Chase recognizes New England as a growth market and the expansion of our middle market business in Rhode Island is a natural extension of our growth in Connecticut and Massachusetts. Rhode Island is a state with a long history that is home to some of the oldest companies in the United States. We look forward to the opportunity to make a difference in the state.