George Kaye, Senior Vice President & Market President, Union Bank
What is you position at Union Bank?
I am the senior vice president and market president for Union Bank, N.A. I oversee all of Union Bank’s retail branch operations in San Diego and Imperial County.
I have 35 years of experience in the banking and financial industries. I have been with Union Bank since early 2009, where I started as a senior vice president and regional manager in the Greater Sacramento area. In 2010, I helped oversee the acquisition of Frontier Bank, in which Union Bank added 50 branches to its footprint in Washington and Oregon. After the acquisition, I took on the role of senior vice president and retail sales integration manager.
What was you background before joining Union Bank?
Prior to Union Bank, I spent 19 years at JP Morgan Chase, and Washington Mutual Bank before it was acquired by JP Morgan Chase, as senior vice president of the Southern California division. I have also held positions as retail bank regional manager for Washington Mutual Bank, Great Western Bank, HomeFed Bank, and First Nationwide Bank. I received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Northern Illinois University and a master’s of business administration in finance from DePaul University. I am certified as a trained facilitator by Cohen Brown.
What other orginizations are you involved with?
I am a board member for both the Orange County United Way and the Orange County Child Abuse Prevention Center. I am a guest lecturer at California State University, Long Beach, and also volunteer for the Special Olympics.
What’s new at your company?
In 2009, Union Bank unveiled a new brand identity, which included an updated logo and name change from Union Bank of California to Union Bank. The new brand better reflects our growth and desire to have a higher degree of national brand recognition in the financial services marketplace.
In 2010, Union Bank acquired San Rafael, California-based Tamalpais Bank and Everett, Washington-based Frontier Bank. Through purchase and assumption agreements with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Union Bank added 57 additional banking offices. With nearly 400 banking offices (on September 30, 2010), and more than 11,000 employees, we’ve experienced strong growth in the last five years.
We’re looking to continue our strategic geographic expansion and also expanding our footprint in commercial real estate, energy and utilities lending, and commercial banking.
What sets your company apart from others in your industry?
At Union Bank, our strength and history of conservative lending set us apart – we’ve remained a strong, well-capitalized and trusted advisor to our clients, even during the financial downturn. We completely avoided sub-prime lending and are still actively lending to clients. Our team approach to client service is also a distinguishing factor. We work together to offer customized financial solutions for our clients.
What challenges is your industry facing right now?
We’re challenged with continuing to distinguish ourselves, and making sure our customers and the general public know our strong history and philosophy for doing business. The banking industry has been greatly affected by the economy and many banks have failed, but Union Bank has remained strong and stable, despite the economic challenges facing our world. We adhered to sound business practices and our commitment to providing the best personalized service for our customers.