Tag Archives: comerica bank

hand over of house keys

REDW, Comerica Host Succession Planning Seminar

Research shows that 70% of family businesses will not make it to the second generation, and that 90% will not make it to the third.  Yet most family and privately held businesses do not have a leadership and capital succession plan in place.

REDWLLC, one of the largest and most respected certified public accounting and business consulting firms in the Southwest, is teaming up with Comerica Bank to host a series of complimentary seminars designed to provide practical guidance and answers to many tough questions about succession planning that business owners need to face.

The first session of the series will be held Thursday, October 30, 2014 at the Royal Palms Resort and Spa. Speakers Sandy Abalos, CPA and Principal in Charge of REDW’s Phoenix office, and Joe Maturo of Rivers & Moorehead PLLC will address the key roadblocks to successful planning and create a framework in which business owners and top leaders can effectively turn talk into action.

“Many business owners are so focused on day-to-day operations that they often neglect to think about planning for their future. It is totally understandable, but very risky,” said Christina Roderick, Senior Manager in REDW’s Phoenix Tax Department. “Our goal is to help business owners understand those risks and what proactive steps they can take to make succession planning not only a top priority but also an evolving, dynamic and productive process.”

“This seminar series will provide business owners with the opportunity to learn about various succession plans and show them what steps they can put in place now to maximize the value of their business in the future,” added Kevin Draper, Vice President, Relationship Manager, Comerica Bank.

Session topics will include:

• The top 5 myths about succession planning
• The risks of delaying succession planning
• The options available for structuring a plan
• Critical elements of succession planning, and how to apply them to your organization

For details or to reserve your seat, email Christine Egter or call her at 602-730-1150.

Grant Thornton Business Optimism Index

Comerica Bank’s Arizona Index Up in April

Comerica  Bank’s Arizona Economic Activity Index climbed slightly in April, rising 0.2 percentage points to a level of 95.0. The  April  index  reading  is  23.7 points, or 33 percent, above the index cyclical  low  of 71.3. The index averaged 87.2 points for all of 2012, 8.7 points above the average for full-year 2011.

“Our  Arizona  Index  increased  in  April  reflecting  the  turnaround  in residential  real  estate conditions in the Phoenix area,” said Robert Dye, Chief  Economist  at  Comerica  Bank.  “Home  prices  have  increased  on a month-to-month  basis for 20 consecutive months through this past April. On a  year-ago  basis,  Phoenix  area home prices are up 21.5 percent. That is providing  positive  incentive  for  home  buyers  and builders. It is also increasing  homeowners’  wealth,  which  translates  into  stronger overall consumer  activity.  We  expect  to  see further improvement to the Arizona economy in the months ahead.”

The  Arizona  Economic  Activity  Index  consists  of  seven  variables, as follows:  nonfarm  payrolls,  exports,  sales tax revenues, hotel occupancy rates,  continuing claims for unemployment insurance, building permits, and the  Case-Shiller  home  price index.  All data are seasonally adjusted, as necessary,  and  indexed  to  a base year of 2008. Nominal values have been converted to constant dollar values. Index levels are expressed in terms of three-month moving averages.

Comerica   operates   18   full-service   banking  centers  throughout  the Phoenix/Scottsdale area.  In addition to Arizona, Comerica locations can be found in its headquarters state of Texas, as well as in California, Florida and  Michigan, with select businesses operating in several other states, as well  as  in  Canada and Mexico.

economy

Arizona Economy Expands in September

Comerica Bank’s Arizona Economic Activity Index increased by 0.9 percentage points in September, rising to a level of 87.7. The September index reading is 17 points, or 24 percent, above the index cyclical low of 71.0. Year-to-date the index has averaged 85 points, seven points above the average for all of 2011. August’s index reading was unrevised at a level of 86.8.

“The Arizona economy expanded for the fourth straight month in September, as shown by our Arizona Economic Activity Index. Job gains are strengthening the foundation of our index, as Arizona job growth continues to outpace that of the nation. Phoenix home prices have increased every month for the 12 months through September,” said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. “The recovery in home prices and in residential construction is providing broad support to nearly all aspects of the state economy. We expect to see further improvement to the Arizona economy in the months ahead.”

The Arizona Economic Activity Index consists of seven variables, as follows: nonfarm payrolls, exports, sales tax revenues, hotel occupancy rates, continuing claims for unemployment insurance, building permits, and the Case-Shiller home price index. All data are seasonally adjusted, as necessary, and indexed to a base year of 2008. Nominal values have been converted to constant dollar values. Index levels are expressed in terms of three-month moving averages.

Comerica operates 18 full-service banking centers throughout the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. In addition to Arizona, Comerica locations can be found in its headquarters state of Texas, as well as in California, Florida and Michigan, with select businesses operating in several other states,

Untitled

AWEE presents 2012 Faces of Success

A formerly homeless veteran who lost his hearing from an explosion in Vietnam, an ex-offender who chose drugs over her children and today counsels individuals in similar circumstances, and a Baltimore transplant who had to rely on the financial support of family when she couldn’t find a fulltime job despite a steady work history will tell their turnaround stories and be honored at the 18th annual Faces of Success Luncheon on Thursday, Nov. 15 at The Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa.

The annual fund-raising luncheon supports Arizona Women’s Education & Employment (AWEE), a workforce development organization using a diverse range of evidence-based training and support services to advance Arizona’s workforce and change the lives of women, men, young adults and special populations through the dignity of work.

Also at the luncheon, Michelle King Robson, who overcame life-threatening health issues to start the widely praised social health website EmpowHER.com for women will receive the Jeanne Lind Herberger Award.

More than 700 people are expected at the luncheon, which is presented by Bank of America.  Registration and reception begin at 11 a.m.   The highly entertaining, rapid-fire program of giveaways, raffles and remarkably moving stories of success will be co-hosted by television personality Tara Hitchcock and Alfredo J. Molina of Molina Fine Jewelers.  Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton will make brief congratulatory remarks.

Molina also has donated a stunning pair of 18-karat white gold earrings with .39 carats of brilliant diamonds surrounding black onyx for a raffle.  The earrings are valued at $4,990.  Raffle tickets are $25 each or 6 for $100 and can be purchased at the event or online at www.awee.org.

Individual tickets for the Faces of Success Luncheon are $100 each and also can be purchased online or the day of the event.  Sponsorships are still available.

The highlight of the annual luncheon comes midway through the program when the three Faces of Success take the audience through their personal journeys from rock bottom to steady employment and self sufficiency thanks to AWEE programs, services and support.

The 2012 Faces of Success are:

• Craig Leighton, a U.S. Marine Corp photographer whose life fell apart after returning from Vietnam in 1974 deaf and angry.  Leighton eventually found himself battling alcohol and drug addiction, homeless and in jail.  “I needed help,” he said.  “Coming out of prison, you have a choice:  Go back to your old behavior or start over.  AWEE is what saved my life.”

• Vicki Rainey, the mother of two children who grew up in Phoenix living a “wonderful childhood” until the family moved to a new neighborhood.  That’s when she started making a series of bad choices with alcohol, drugs and criminal behavior and wound up homeless and in and out of prison.  Prison let her come out of the meth-induced fog she had lived in for months when she chose the drug over her kids.  She learned about AWEE in prison workshops and classes, rebuilt her self-esteem and her life and is now the marketing manager at Recovery Opportunity Center.  “The simple fact is, I wouldn’t be where I am today without AWEE.”

• Tanya Smith moved to Phoenix from Baltimore after her mother died.  Smith wanted warmth and sunshine.  Unfortunately, she couldn’t find permanent work and ran out of money between assignments through a temporary agency, needing help from family members.  Surgery complicated matters.   After getting on AHCCCS, she was referred to AWEE where resume writing and interview training keyed her turnaround.  Today, she’s working fulltime in the Home Modification Division of the Arizona Department of Economic Security.

Jeanne Lind Herberger honoree Robson combines a successful track record as a businesswoman and entrepreneur with nearly two decades of civic and community leadership to lead one of the fastest-growing social health companies on the Web.  She started EmpowHER following her own personal struggle with a debilitating health issue and the challenges she experienced in finding the health resources she needed.  “I thought ‘If this happened to me, what is happening to women all over the world?’  At that moment, I decided I would dedicate my life to making sure no other woman would suffer as I had by creating the resources I wish I had when I was sick.”

Kathey Wagner, CEO, B-On The Obvious and Nicole Spracale, Senior Vice President, Jobing, are co-chairs of the 2012 Faces of Success Luncheon.  Bank of America is the Presenting Sponsor with additional support from: The Herberger Foundation, Bruce T. Halle Familiy Foundation, APS, B-On The Obvious, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Discover Financial Services, Jobing, EmpowHER.com, First Solar, Molina Fine Jewelers, SRP, State Farm, Lewis & Roca, MidFirst Bank, Wells Fargo, Avnet, Comerica Bank and University of Phoenix.

For sponsorship information, contact Chief Development Officer Jamie Craig Dove at jamiecraigdove@awee.org or by calling (602) 223-4333.  For ticket information, visit www.awee.org.

Mobile Banking - AZ Business Magazine January/February 2012

Mobile Banking Causes Security Concerns

Use of phone apps skyrockets 45 percent in six-month span, but how safe are they?

The smart phone is becoming to banking what the knife has become to bread: It’s changing the way we consume.

Mobile Banking - AZ Business Magazine January/February 2012

“Mobile banking has had the biggest impact on financial institutions since the introduction of ATMs,” says Paul Stull, senior vice president of strategy and brand at Arizona State Credit Union, the first credit union to introduce mobile banking in Arizona.”The convenience of being able to use a mobile device to manage funds, track balances and pay bills is a huge advancement in convenience and time savings for consumers.”

According to comScore, a leader in measuring the impact of the digital world, the number of people using mobile banking applications on their smart phones jumped an astounding 45 percent from December 2010 to June 2011. Nearly 14 percent of the total U.S. mobile audience accessed mobile banking services in June 2011, an increase of 21 percent from the fourth quarter of 2010.

Mobile Banking - AZ Business Magazine January/February 2012

“New functionality, such as person-to-person payments and mobile check deposits, continue to gain traction, accelerating user adoption,” says Dan Stewart, president for Mutual of Omaha Bank in Arizona. “Banks that ignore the trend will find themselves missing what is fast becoming a standard bank offering.”

Not many banks are ignoring the trend. In a recent survey of the top 25 financial institutions in the United States, Javelin Strategy & Research found that 23 of those 25 institutions offer some sort of mobile-banking service SMS/text, downloadable applications, WAP/browser, or a combination of all three, known as a “triple play”. Thats an improvement from 2009, says Mary Monahan, research director at Javelin, when less than 50 percent of the same banking institutions played active roles in mobile space.

“Mobile banking is a must-have now,” says Monahan.

Wells Fargo is one of the institutions that blazed the mobile-banking trail and offers the triple play.

Mobile Banking - AZ Business Magazine January/February 2012“Wells Fargo launched its mobile channel in 2007 by listening to our customers,” says Brian Pearce, senior vice president and head of the Retail Mobile Channel at Wells Fargo’s Internet Services Group. “They told us that they wanted easy and convenient access to their balances, transfer capabilities and the ability to pay a bill while on the go. They also told us that they wanted to be able to access their information regardless of their phone model and carrier plan. To meet these needs, we offer a triple play mobile web, Apps for Android, iPhone, Blackberry and Palm, and text banking.”

And Wells Fargo continues to improve the ease of use and is adding new bells and whistles to make banking easier.

“We’ve just recently enhanced the design of our mobile experience with a simplified navigation and streamlined screen designs,” Pearce says. “We also added a GPS feature for our wf.com ATM locator and new commands and enrollment options for our text banking application.”

Banks are finding that mobile banking is good for the bottom line.

Mobile Banking - AZ Business Magazine January/February 2012“Mobile banking adds to customer acquisition and retention, reduces call volume to the call center, and takes the convenience of Web banking one step further,” says Craig Doyle, Arizona market president of Comerica Bank, which has launched mobile banking apps for the iPhone, BlackBerry and Android. “This technology also forces the industry to focus more on the customer and carefully evaluate what products and services we can offer to better serve them.”

While smart phone users are the biggest users of mobile banking, the exploding popularity of mobile tablets like the iPad is expected to alter the mobile banking landscape even further, experts say.

“The tablet is going to be a game changer,” Monahan says. “Banks have to be ready.”

Apps for tablets will require some thought, since consumers spend more time browsing on mobile tablets than they do on mobile phones, Monahan says. “Banks will have to have deeper dives, and its going to be key for banks to have a tablet-specific app.”

Even as the use of mobile banking skyrockets, there is one issue that is keeping it from reaching a fever pitch.

“The main reason consumers dont move to mobile banking is because of security concerns,” Monahan says. “Consumers want to know that their mobile interactions and transactions are encrypted, and they want some assurance that they will be reimbursed for losses associated with a mobile-banking breach. Banks need to educate consumers about what they offer and how they are protecting the mobile channel.”

Educating consumers is something that Comerica said is vital to growing its mobile banking channel.

“Comerica always has security in mind and is constantly evaluating better ways to protect our customers,” Doyle says. “We encourage our customers to take the proper precautions to protect themselves. We feature information about good security practices on our Comerica.com website and our mobile banking microsite so our customers can be properly educated and protect themselves.”

To help ease its customers security concerns, Monahan says banks should at least do these three things:

Post mobile banking security guarantees on their websites. Guarantees should be prominent, on the homepage, so consumers can quickly find them.

Banking institutions offering mobile banking through downloadable apps should have the ability to remotely deactivate apps that could be infected or contain malicious code.

Every institution should spearhead a strong consumer education campaign that educates consumers about safe mobile-banking practices, while also informing them about mobile offers and services provided by their banks or credit unions.

Arizonas banking leaders say those security concerns are not going unnoticed.

“All mobile technology used by Arizona State Credit Union complies with federal financial institution regulations requiring the use of multi-factor authentication technology,” Stull says. “In addition, the Credit Union will be adding new security improvements during 2012 that will use virtual intelligence to learn user behavior and detect variances in usage that may indicate unauthorized activity.”

Bankers point out that mobile banking can actually be a great tool to use to keep your money secure because you have 24-hour access to your financial information.

“We feel that the ‘anytime, anywhere’ nature of mobile banking gives customers a great tool to monitor their accounts and stay in control of their money,” Pearce says.

5 Ways To Protect Yourself

1. Set the phone to require a password to power on the handset or awake it from sleep mode.

2. Whether you’re using the mobile Web or a mobile client, don’t let it automatically log you in to your bank account. Otherwise, if your phone is lost or stolen, someone will have free access to your money.

3. Avoid sharing your password, account number, PIN, answers to secret questions or other such information. Don’t save this information anywhere on your handset.

4. Immediately tell your bank or mobile operator if you lose your phone.

5. Review account statements. If you do notice any unusual transactions, call your bank immediately and dispute the transactions.

For more information on mobile banking and ways to protect yourself visit the Wells Fargo website at wellsfargo.com.

AZ Business Magazine January/February 2012

Business Lending - AZ Business Magazine November/December 2011

Now Is The Right Time For Business Lending, Financial Banking

Now is the Right Time for Business Lending, Financial Banking

Now might be the right time for businesses looking for financial backing to reach out to banks to help with plans for expansion and growth.

“When small businesses are given the tools to grow, that means growth for the economy,” says Craig P. Doyle, Arizona regional president of Comerica Bank. “We have the ability to provide capital to those businesses that can grow.”

The status of business lending in Arizona has been in question during a tough economy, but the reaction from Arizona banking representatives has been similar across the board: banks are lending, and the number of loans issued has increased over the past year.

Most banks in Arizona have weathered the economic crisis fairly well, and have had the ability to continue to make loans.

Dean Rennell, a regional president at Wells Fargo Bank says he has seen a steady improvement in business lending over the past year.

During that period Wells Fargo extended approximately $14.9 billion in loans to small businesses nationwide, a 13 percent increase over the year before.

In Arizona alone, Rennell says he has seen Wells Fargo’s lending increase 15 percent over the past year.

“Borrowers are showing improved financial performance,” Rennell says. “That means they’ve adjusted to what people are calling the ‘new normal,’ and they’ve diversified and become more efficient.”

Rennell is seeing a significant amount of loans from small businesses looking to buy competitors or real estate, or expand the company.

Companies that had cut back on expenses are now starting to invest in new equipment and technology that they had refrained from purchasing in the past.

“We’re seeing expansion requests and some businesses are taking advantage of the opportunities they see in the marketplace,” Rennell says.

Arizona banks have been able to lend during the recession because Arizona has a large number of companies that are well managed and credit-worthy, experts say.

“Most banks in Arizona are capitalized and have enough liquidity and capacity to make loans,” says Curt Hansen, executive vice president of the National Bank of Arizona. “There are a lot of well-run large and small banks, and Arizona is a good market long-term.”

When looking at possible loans, banks still desire the same qualifications they have in the past, such as a good track record, a strong management team and an ability to weather tough times.

The biggest difference now is that banks are paying more attention to the actual documents required for the loan.

“Bankers are looking at borrower’s ability to withstand short-term shocks and the borrower’s ability to repay the loans requesting,” Hansen says.

Lynne Herndon, city president at BBVA Compass, has seen an increasing number of loan requests coming from the small business segment.

“Almost 70 percent of business owners in Arizona belong to the smaller business segment, and that’s the segment where we’re seeing growth,” Herndon says. “Those entrepreneurs and business owners were cautious before and are beginning to venture out more.”

Most businesses large or small have some form of lending, whether it is a line of credit, equipment loan or real estate loan. Lines of credit are necessary for companies to continue to operate, and many companies are renewing the lines of credit they already have.

BBVA Compass Phoenix saw double-digit loan growth in 2010 of about 12 percent, and has seen about a 15 percent increase in 2011.

The only area where Herndon says he doesn’t see as many loans being issued is in real estate lending.

According to Herndon, the uncertainty in the Arizona housing market plays a huge role in the decline of real estate lending. People are still wondering if values have hit bottom.

“The economy is still a concern, and the political climate,” Herndon says. “Most of the companies and businesses here need a banking relationship in order to maintain and grow their company. The demand for loans is definitely increasing and I’m hopeful this trend will continue to improve.”

[stextbox id="info"]

For more information about business lending and financial backing, visit:

comerica.com
wellsfargo.com

nbarizona.com

bbvacompass.com

[/stextbox]

Arizona Business Magazine November/December 2011

 

Arizona Bankers Association, Bankers Give Back - AZ Business Magazine November/December 2011

Arizona Bankers Association Impacts State’s Economy, Communities

Arizona Bankers Association Impacts State’s Economy, Communities

Ryan Suchala, Bank of Arizona, Arizona Bankers AssociationBank of Arizona President Ryan Suchala recognizes the importance of community.

“This is where we live, work and play and in many cases the city where we are shaping our families,” Suchala says. “As a father of three I give my time to better our community because this is where my boys will become men. Last year, Bank of Arizona employees spent close to 450 hours working in our community and I personally became a board member at Arizona Women Education and Employment.”

To show the Arizona banking industry’s impact on its communities, the Arizona Bankers Association (AzBA) produced a brochure titled “Arizona Banks Give Back.” The report provides a picture of the economic and charitable support the banking industry gives back to the communities it serves, and shows the influence banks have on Arizona’s economy.

Arizona Bankers Association is an organization with more than 70 members that works to create a unified voice and engage members in issues that affect the banking industry.

Lynne Herndon, city president at BBVA Compass“It’s clear the banking industry has been under a microscope the last few years,” says Lynne Herndon, city president of BBVA Compass. “We wanted to pull our information and be treated collectively as an industry to say we are looking to work with companies to help them with their financial needs.”

Arizona Bankers Association created the “Arizona Banks Give Back” survey in November 2010 to collect a variety of data from Arizona banks. The results were released in February 2011. The 12-page brochure includes statistical data that shows how banks provide financial and social stability in Arizona.

The banks that chose to participate in the survey felt that it provided a good opportunity to change the way people currently view banks. The biggest surprise to Paul Hickman, president and CEO of Arizona Bankers Association, was how high bank lending was in Arizona in 2010.

According to the survey results, Arizona banks lent $5.9 billion in new and renewed commercial loans, and more than $11 billion in new and renewed consumer loans in 2010.

“A lot of the feedback we’ve been getting is ‘Wow, I didn’t realize the volume of lending was that great in this economy,’” Hickman says.

The number is likely higher as only 35 AzBA-member institutions responded to the survey, which only represents 63 percent of the organization’s membership, and does not include information from non-member banks.

In today’s economy, banks are more cautious about lending, but the data proves that Arizona banks are continuing to lend to commercial businesses and consumers.

“We keep hearing banks won’t lend,” Hickman says. “But banks don’t make money if they don’t lend.”

Banks want to lend so they can pump money into Arizona’s economy.

Arizona banks provide direct loans to help the state government finance public improvements by improving water, sewer and public health facilities and by helping build schools.

Banks pay income tax to help support local communities as opposed to credit unions, which don’t pay federal income tax.

Arizona banks are also putting money into the economy by being a leading employer of local residents. Banks bring high-wage jobs to the local community, and employ more than 42,000 Arizonans.

Wells Fargo Bank was the fifth largest employer of Arizonans in 2010, and the average salary for an employee working at a bank was around $66,625 in 2010.

By providing jobs, banks provide a ripple effect in the community, because employees pay state taxes and are also consumers that put money back into local businesses.

Arizona banks are also doing more than just putting money into the economy. Members of Arizona banks are striving to aid their community through service.

According to the results from the Arizona Banks Give Back survey, bank employees donated 211,615 volunteer hours to community service in 2010, and donated $15.5 million to charitable and cultural organizations.

“Actions speak louder than words,” says Craig P. Doyle, Arizona regional president of Comerica Bank. “We get out and are active in making a difference in our communities. It’s better than just handing money out.”

To show their commitment to the communities they serve, Comerica employees work with nonprofits like Fresh Start Women’s Foundation, Homeward Bound, Junior Achievement, Sojourner Women’s Shelter, United Food Bank, Central AZ Shelter Services and many others.

An effort from Suchala and the Bank of Arizona helped improve literacy across the Valley.

“Last year, we hosted our annual Caring for Kids Book Drive and collected over 14,000 books for children and adults in our community,” Suchala says. “We educate with multiple employees teaching Junior Achievement programs and with educational programs to local school children. Our employees have worked together this past year sorting school supplies at the annual Salvation Army Pack to School Drive, serving food alongside Alice Cooper for the Cooperstown Christmas for Kids event and pounded nails at two Habitat for Humanity events.”

“These are good members of the community,” Hickman says. “These are people that are donating their money and time at philanthropies around the state and they’re trying hard to impart their discipline.”

Arizona banks participate in programs such as neighborhood revitalization, financial education and assistance for the underprivileged.

In 2008, Mohave State Bank created a program called “Junior Bankers.” Three years later, Mohave State bankers are still training children at Jamaica Elementary School in Lake Havasu about balancing accounts, taking deposits and bank rules. Volunteers meet each week with students before school. The program has expanded to three other elementary schools.

In 2010, the National Bank of Arizona donated one of its foreclosed homes in Glendale to Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona. The bank partnered with the organization to help renovate the property, and 118 people worked to build walls, paint and landscape the property.

Arizona banks are committed to helping the community both financially and through service, Hickman says.
“This industry is like the cardiovascular system of our economy and it needs to be robust and healthy,” Hickman says. “We don’t grow or recover without this industry.”

For more information about the Arizona Bankers Association, visit azbankers.org.

[stextbox id="info"]

Arizona Gives Back: By the Numbers

  • More than $5.9 billion distributed in commercial loans (new and renewed) in 2010
  • More than $11 billion distributed in consumer loans (new and renewed) in 2010
  • More than 1,300 banking center locations in Arizona
  • More than 42,000 people work for Arizona banks
  • $66,625 is the average bank employee salary

[/stextbox]


Arizona Business Magazine November/December 2011