Tag Archives: national bank of arizona

wealth

NB|AZ Hires New Wealth Advisor

National Bank of Arizona (NB|AZ) announced Robert Wagner as a new wealth advisor at its Gainey Ranch Wealth Center. Wagner brings numerous years of financial planning, business development and strategic planning experience to his new position at NB|AZ.

As a NB|AZ wealth advisor, Wagner will be responsible for developing high net-worth investment management relationships by combining forward-looking economic and financial analysis with targeted investment strategies. He will work with clients to provide a tailored strategy designed to address specific financial needs, goals and aspirations.

“I am proud to join NB|AZ, a company founded on its local relationships and strong ties to the community,” Wagner said. “I’m confident that my previous financial advisory experience will serve me well in this new position.”

Prior to joining the Wealth Strategies team at NB|AZ, Wagner was a financial advisor with Merrill
Lynch. Robert earned his B.S. in Microbiology and Veterinary Science with a Minor in Chemistry from the University of Arizona.

Wagner is based out of the NB|AZ Gainey Ranch Wealth Center located at 7375 E Doubletree Ranch Road, Scottsdale.

For more information about NB|AZ and its services, visit www.nbarizona.com.

A Guide to Applying for a Bank Loan

NB|AZ Hosts Open House at New Wealth Center

National Bank of Arizona (NB|AZ) announced the opening of its new Camelback Wealth Center, which strengthens its commitment to the community and clients around the Camelback Corridor.

The existing branch location at 4040 East Camelback Road was remodeled into the new wealth center, which blends executive banking and private banking under one roof. The wealth center provides clients a comprehensive array of financial services under one roof, housing 15 bankers including retail bankers, wealth managers, an executive banking team and a mortgage specialist. The remodeled building also offers a more energy efficient design and has been updated with a cash recycler for quicker processing of cash transactions.

The open house on February 26 is open to NB|AZ clients, Camelback Corridor residents and NB|AZ representatives. Refreshments will be provided by North Italia and entertainment by Urban Electra.

WHO: Keith Maio, President and CEO of National Bank of Arizona

WHEN: Wednesday, February 26 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: National Bank of Arizona – Camelback Wealth Center, 4040 East Camelback Road, Phoenix, Arizona 85018

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NB|AZ Announces Opening of Camelback Wealth Center

National Bank of Arizona (NB|AZ) announced the opening of its new Camelback Wealth Center, which strengthens its commitment to the community and clients around the Camelback Corridor. The existing branch location at 4040 East Camelback Road was remodeled into the new wealth center, which blends executive banking and private banking under one roof.

As one of the most affluent areas in the Valley, Camelback Corridor is a prime location for the new wealth center, which provides a wide array of options for high-net-worth clients and a streamlined approach to financial decision making. The wealth center provides clients a comprehensive array of financial services under one roof, housing 15 bankers including retail bankers, wealth managers, an executive banking team and a mortgage specialist. The remodeled building also offers a more energy efficient design and has been updated with a cash recycler for quicker processing of cash transactions.

“NB|AZ was founded on local relationships and we are proud to celebrate our commitment to the Camelback Corridor community with the opening of our new wealth center,” said Jathan Segur, National Bank of Arizona Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing. “We are dedicated to serving our customers and valued partners in the Valley, and this new wealth center will enable us to better foster those relationships.”

NB|AZ plans to commemorate the opening of the new wealth center with an open house event on February 26. Clients, valued partners and members of the Camelback Corridor community will be in attendance.

In addition to the new Camelback Wealth Center, NB|AZ has another wealth center located at 7375 East Doubletree Ranch Road in Scottsdale, which opened in October 2012. For more information about NB|AZ or a full list of NB|AZ branches, visit www.nbarizona.com.

A Guide to Applying for a Bank Loan

National Bank of Arizona Elects New Board

National Bank of Arizona (NB|AZ) announced the appointment of three prominent business leaders as new members to its Board of Directors. The distinguished members elected to join the Board include David N. Beckham, real estate developer and co-founder of Beckham Gumbin Ventures; Tracy Bame, president of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Foundation; and Steve Christy, Vice Chair of ADOT’s State Transportation Board.

The current Board made a strategic decision to elect three additional members to expand the Board for greater bandwidth, a stronger element of diversity and to broaden community representation.

“The criteria we used for selecting candidates for the Board was in keeping with the high standards of excellence we adhere to as a bank,” said Keith Maio, CEO and president, National Bank of Arizona. “We appointed three leaders with an excellent reputation and the best in their field of work.”

“I’m honored to serve on the NB|AZ Board with individuals of such high integrity,” said incoming member, David N. Beckham. “I’m fortunate to have had long-term relationships with some of the current members of the Board, and I look forward to being a productive addition in supporting the vision of this strong financial institution.”

“National Bank of Arizona is an organization that clearly is committed to being an outstanding business and community partner,” said Tracy Bame. “Adding new directors that bring expanded insight and perspective to the Board is continued demonstration of this. I’m privileged and thrilled to accept the invitation to serve the bank in advancing these goals across the state in every way I can.”

“I am truly looking forward to serving as a director with NB|AZ,” added Steve Christy. “I hope to bring to the bank a voice from southern Arizona, and will offer my connections within this community to further the bank’s Tucson interests in any way possible.”

maio

Leadership spotlight: Keith Maio

Keith Maio
President and CEO
National Bank of Arizona
nbarizona.com

Maio has been in banking for more than 30 years. He joined NB|AZ in 1992, was appointed president in 2001 and CEO in 2005.

Biggest challenge: “The challenges of the severe economic downturn, beginning in 2008.  Bringing a sharp, tactical approach to working through the problems of the day, while continuing to stay focused on a long term vision for our organization.”

Best advice received: “Know your strengths and weaknesses and hire smart people to fill the voids.”

Best advice to offer: “Ask yourself what activities you are accomplishing today that support your long-term goals. Not a day should go by that does not move you a step closer to your vision for yourself and your organization.”

Greatest accomplishment: “I am very proud and honored that NB|AZ has been selected by Arizonans as the No. 1 bank for 10 of the last 12 years in Ranking Arizona. I believe this is a testament to the power of an organization holding true to its core values and demonstrating a consistent approach to servicing customers each and every day.”

dinner

NB|AZ to Host Taste of the Biltmore Oct. 3

National Bank of Arizona (NB|AZ) announced its seventh annual Taste of the Biltmore event, which is scheduled for Thursday, October 3 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the NB|AZ Biltmore Corporate Center. This highly anticipated kick-off to the Fall social season will bring the best of the Biltmore community together to enjoy unlimited food and wine tastes from more than 20 local restaurants.

All proceeds from the event will benefit the Act One Foundation (Act One), an organization that provides educational field trips to visual and performing arts centers for Arizona students. Act One provides transportation and resources to underserved public school children so that they can experience art and culture within their communities. In its inaugural year, Act One benefitted more than 20,000 K-12 public schoolchildren in Maricopa County.

“NB|AZ Taste of the Biltmore is the perfect way to bring the community together to enjoy delicious cuisine, while giving back to the community,” said Jathan Segur, senior vice president of sales and marketing for NB|AZ. “Each year the attendance grows allowing us to offer tremendous support to our designated beneficiary, and this year we are thrilled to be able to contribute to the Act One Foundation.”

“We are thrilled National Bank of Arizona has selected Act One as their partner in NB|AZ Taste of the Biltmore,” said Teniqua Broughton, executive director of the Act One Foundation. “Less than 50 percent of Arizona public schools provide integrated arts education in the curriculum due to budget constraints. Act One Foundation was created to address this need, and the collected funds from this event will help us serve these students.”

Participating restaurants include some of the Valley’s most recognized names: Central Bistro, Lon’s at the Hermosa Inn, Donovan’s Steak & Chop House, The Capital Grille, Season’s 52, True Food Kitchen, Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar, amongst many others.

Tickets are $35 online and at the door. To purchase tickets or to find out more about the event, including a full list of participating restaurants, please visit www.nbaztaste.com.

dinner

NB|AZ to Host Taste of the Biltmore Oct. 3

National Bank of Arizona (NB|AZ) announced its seventh annual Taste of the Biltmore event, which is scheduled for Thursday, October 3 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the NB|AZ Biltmore Corporate Center. This highly anticipated kick-off to the Fall social season will bring the best of the Biltmore community together to enjoy unlimited food and wine tastes from more than 20 local restaurants.

All proceeds from the event will benefit the Act One Foundation (Act One), an organization that provides educational field trips to visual and performing arts centers for Arizona students. Act One provides transportation and resources to underserved public school children so that they can experience art and culture within their communities. In its inaugural year, Act One benefitted more than 20,000 K-12 public schoolchildren in Maricopa County.

“NB|AZ Taste of the Biltmore is the perfect way to bring the community together to enjoy delicious cuisine, while giving back to the community,” said Jathan Segur, senior vice president of sales and marketing for NB|AZ. “Each year the attendance grows allowing us to offer tremendous support to our designated beneficiary, and this year we are thrilled to be able to contribute to the Act One Foundation.”

“We are thrilled National Bank of Arizona has selected Act One as their partner in NB|AZ Taste of the Biltmore,” said Teniqua Broughton, executive director of the Act One Foundation. “Less than 50 percent of Arizona public schools provide integrated arts education in the curriculum due to budget constraints. Act One Foundation was created to address this need, and the collected funds from this event will help us serve these students.”

Participating restaurants include some of the Valley’s most recognized names: Central Bistro, Lon’s at the Hermosa Inn, Donovan’s Steak & Chop House, The Capital Grille, Season’s 52, True Food Kitchen, Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar, amongst many others.

Tickets are $35 online and at the door. To purchase tickets or to find out more about the event, including a full list of participating restaurants, please visit www.nbaztaste.com.

Bridget_Cooney

NB|AZ Hires New Senior Vice President

National Bank of Arizona (NB|AZ) announced Bridget Cooney as its new senior vice president (SVP), retail banking group manager. Bridget brings more than 25 years of banking industry experience to her new position at NB|AZ.

In her role as SVP, retail banking group manager, Cooney will be responsible for sales and service delivery at seventy-two branch offices statewide, as well as enhancing the overall customer experience across all bank channels. She will work directly under Brent Cannon, executive vice president (EVP) and director of community banking.

“I am thrilled to join the NB|AZ team,” Cooney said. “I feel truly aligned with the bank’s core values and mission, and am confident that my leadership and business development skills will add considerable value to the retail banking group.”

Originally from the Midwest, Cooney graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor of Science degree, and later earned her Master of Business Administration degree from W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. Bridget has worked in several large markets including Columbus, Dallas and Phoenix, growing her career from branch manager to sales and service coach, district manager, market manager and regional sales manager. Most recently, she represented Comerica Bank as an SVP, regional manager, where she worked to expand the bank’s Arizona market, while developing a sales culture to grow the bank’s business and profitability.

Cooney is based out of the NB|AZ Corporate Center located at 6001 N. 24th St., Phoenix.

For more information about NB|AZ and its services, visit www.nbarizona.com.

Bridget_Cooney

NB|AZ Hires New Senior Vice President

National Bank of Arizona (NB|AZ) announced Bridget Cooney as its new senior vice president (SVP), retail banking group manager. Bridget brings more than 25 years of banking industry experience to her new position at NB|AZ.

In her role as SVP, retail banking group manager, Cooney will be responsible for sales and service delivery at seventy-two branch offices statewide, as well as enhancing the overall customer experience across all bank channels. She will work directly under Brent Cannon, executive vice president (EVP) and director of community banking.

“I am thrilled to join the NB|AZ team,” Cooney said. “I feel truly aligned with the bank’s core values and mission, and am confident that my leadership and business development skills will add considerable value to the retail banking group.”

Originally from the Midwest, Cooney graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor of Science degree, and later earned her Master of Business Administration degree from W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. Bridget has worked in several large markets including Columbus, Dallas and Phoenix, growing her career from branch manager to sales and service coach, district manager, market manager and regional sales manager. Most recently, she represented Comerica Bank as an SVP, regional manager, where she worked to expand the bank’s Arizona market, while developing a sales culture to grow the bank’s business and profitability.

Cooney is based out of the NB|AZ Corporate Center located at 6001 N. 24th St., Phoenix.

For more information about NB|AZ and its services, visit www.nbarizona.com.

Sharon Lecher

Sharon Lechter – 50 Most Influential Women in Arizona Business

Sharon Lechter – Founder and CEO, Pay Your Family First

Lechter, winner of National Bank of Arizona’s fourth annual Women’s Financial Group (WFG) Woman of the Year Award. is a local businesswoman, investor and financial literary activist whose philanthropic work has helped establish, educate and train professional women in the Valley. She also is the co-author of “Rich Dad Poor Dad,” a financial selfhelp book that has sold more than 26 million copies worldwide.

Surprising fact: “I am as comfortable and happy driving an ATV through the Tonto National Forest on our ranch as I am sitting in a corporate board room negotiating a multi-million dollar deal.”

Biggest challenge: “Creating legislative change to require financial education be taught in high schools… and the battle goes on.”

Fifty Most Influential Women in Arizona Business – Every year in its July/August issue Arizona Business Magazine features 50 women who make an impact on Arizona business. To see the full list, read the digital issue >>

Mark_Vance_photo2

National Bank of Arizona expands staff in Phoenix

National Bank of Arizona (NB|AZ) has announced Mark Vance as its new vice president, marketing manager. Vance brings more than 25 years of international marketing experience, business development, strategic planning and executive leadership to his new position at NB|AZ.

As marketing manager, Vance will develop and implement the bank’s marketing strategy and will provide thought leadership that is integral to elevating the NB|AZ brand. He will oversee the marketing budget and will perform a wide range of managerial duties for the marketing department, including employee recruitment and development. Additionally, Vance will help increase public awareness of NB|AZ through consistent media coverage of the bank’s philosophy, services, employees, awards, marketing campaigns, events and sponsorships.

“I am proud to join NB|AZ, a company founded on its local relationships and strong ties to the community,” Vance said. “I’m confident that my past experience of working with trusted consumer brands will serve me well in this new position.”

Originally from the Midwest, Vance graduated from DePaul University in Chicago with a bachelor’s degree in marketing communications and leadership. Most recently, he served as executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Aquion, Inc., one of the world’s largest water treatment equipment manufacturers. He also has held various executive marketing positions at Market Day, Edelman, Spring-Green Lawn Care and Oberweis Dairy, Inc.

Vance is based out of the NB|AZ Corporate Center located at 6001 N. 24th St., Phoenix.

For more information about NB|AZ and its services, visit www.nbarizona.com.

helping.hands

NB|AZ establishes account for Fire Victims

National Bank of Arizona (NB|AZ) has established a donation bank account through the United Way of Prescott to benefit the families of the 19 firefighters who lost their lives bravely battling the Yarnell Hill Fire. The fund also will be used to assist the residents of Yarnell whose homes were destroyed by the blaze.

Donations can be made to United Way of Yavapai County, FBO Yarnell Hill Fire Fund – #0440011985 at any NB|AZ branch in Arizona.

“We extend our deepest condolences and support to our employees, customers and residents in the Yarnell Hill area who are being affected by this tragedy,” said Keith Maio, president and CEO of NB|AZ. “With a branch location in Wickenburg and multiple branches in Prescott, this fire is in our own backyard. We will continue to service these communities and we pledge our support both now during this crisis and in the coming weeks and months of rebuilding.”

In addition to establishing the donation bank account, NB|AZ has committed to making contributions to the 100 Club of Arizona and the American Red Cross, along with individual cash gifts to the immediate family members of the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots who were lost in the fire.

NB|AZ also is currently working to coordinate larger-scale relief efforts over the long-term. These include an internal fundraising campaign through the NB|AZ True Partner Fund for employees living and working near the affected area, and a benefit event that will likely take place in the coming months.

The NB|AZ branch locations in Wickenburg and Prescott remain open for business and for taking donations.

For more information about NB|AZ and its services, please visit www.nbarizona.com.

helping.hands

NB|AZ establishes account for Fire Victims

National Bank of Arizona (NB|AZ) has established a donation bank account through the United Way of Prescott to benefit the families of the 19 firefighters who lost their lives bravely battling the Yarnell Hill Fire. The fund also will be used to assist the residents of Yarnell whose homes were destroyed by the blaze.

Donations can be made to United Way of Yavapai County, FBO Yarnell Hill Fire Fund – #0440011985 at any NB|AZ branch in Arizona.

“We extend our deepest condolences and support to our employees, customers and residents in the Yarnell Hill area who are being affected by this tragedy,” said Keith Maio, president and CEO of NB|AZ. “With a branch location in Wickenburg and multiple branches in Prescott, this fire is in our own backyard. We will continue to service these communities and we pledge our support both now during this crisis and in the coming weeks and months of rebuilding.”

In addition to establishing the donation bank account, NB|AZ has committed to making contributions to the 100 Club of Arizona and the American Red Cross, along with individual cash gifts to the immediate family members of the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots who were lost in the fire.

NB|AZ also is currently working to coordinate larger-scale relief efforts over the long-term. These include an internal fundraising campaign through the NB|AZ True Partner Fund for employees living and working near the affected area, and a benefit event that will likely take place in the coming months.

The NB|AZ branch locations in Wickenburg and Prescott remain open for business and for taking donations.

For more information about NB|AZ and its services, please visit www.nbarizona.com.

Prepare loan package, secure loan

Small businesses get loans in record numbers

A common complaint since the financial crisis began was that some of the Wall Street banks that were being bailed out by the federal government weren’t doing enough to help the mom-and-pop shops on Main Street.

“In 2008 when the recession hit, the impact on small business lending was pretty catastrophic,” said Greg Lehmann, managing director of Biltmore Bank of Arizona. “Not only did you have small businesses struggling with lost revenue and weakening balance sheets, but all the banks were retrenching and looking inward.  The unique element about the Recession was that it hit every business sector; small business, large businesses, banks, etc. Nobody was immune to its impact.”

In 2013, small business owners and entrepreneurs have a little more reason for optimism. So far this year, big banks are approving small business loans at the highest rate in more than two years, according to Biz2Credit, which calculates its monthly Small Business Lending Index using 1,000 loan applications made over its online lending platform.

“With an improving economy, Wells Fargo is growing new lending commitments, providing more dollars to help small businesses stay competitive today and for the long term,” said Jennifer Anderson, business banking manager for Wells Fargo Arizona. “The business owners who see increased demand for their products and services are investing in their businesses now. As business owners become more confident and find more opportunities to grow and improve their businesses, we expect to do more business.”

Wells Fargo literally puts its money where its mouth is. According to SNL Financial, the bank was the nation’s largest lender to small business in 2012, lending $32.8 billion to small businesses.

But Wells Fargo isn’t alone. If you look at recent reports, small business lending is up across the board:

* Biz2Credit found that big banks — those with more than $10 billion in assets — approved 15.9 percent of the small business loan applications in February 2013, up from 11.7 percent in February 2012. Small bank approval rates have also ticked up — 50.3 percent in February, up from 47.6 percent in February 2012.
* Government-guaranteed loans have increased 6 percent year-over-year in fiscal 2013. That represents $9.2 billion, an 18 percent increase over the dollars approved during the same period a year ago. Approvals in the last two years have set Small Business Administration records.

Despite the positive reports, the general belief is that small businesses aren’t getting loans, which isn’t true, said Dee H. Burton, executive vice president of Alliance Bank of Arizona.

“Yes, small businesses can get loans now,” Burton said. “At Alliance Bank, we have always been actively engaged in lending to small business — and we never stopped lending even through the toughest times of the Recession.”

What about the perception that lending standards have changed or tightened? That’s another misperception, bankers said.

“General underwriting guidelines have not really changed over the years,” Burton said. “Unfortunately, the Recession has made it more challenging for businesses to qualify. For most businesses, a reduction in revenue may have resulted in a negative impact on cash flow or resulted in a more leveraged balance sheet. Further, the value of assets which banks often look to take as collateral — equipment, real estate, accounts receivable, etc. — are not at the levels they were pre-Recession. All-in-all, these factors have impacted small businesses’ ability to meet the typical standards under which banks underwrite business loans.”

While Lehmann said banks were more willing to bend on some of the fundamentals prior to the Recession, he said banks always look to cash flow, collateral, and capital levels to make a credit decision.

At Wells Fargo, Anderson said lending standards have remained consistent. Before the bank extends credit, it looks for a business to show:

* Steady cash flow. Cash flow is a key indicator of a business’ financial health and its future prospects. When it can show reliable cash flow, we can see it has the resources to repay new loans.
* Debt load is manageable. Banks want to make sure a business has the ability to take on additional debt and is in a strong financial position to manage its debt payments.
* Good payment history. Payment history provides an important record of its ability to responsibly pay down debt.

As for lines of credit for small businesses, Ward Hickey, business banking manager for National Bank of Arizona, said, “Small business lines of credit are based on  business cash flow and collateral values. As both of these improve for small businesses in Arizona, the underwriting standards will ease and more small business lines of credit will be available.”

As the economy in Arizona continues to strengthen, bankers see a better environment for small business.

“We can point to a number of positive signs in small business lending,” Anderson said. “There is more small business activity in our stores, more small businesses are applying for credit, and loan delinquencies continue to decline.”

As businesses shift from survival mode to growth mode, the outlook for lending to small and medium-sized businesses — which Lehmann called “the life blood of the Arizona economy” — continues to be positive, which will help small businesses grow and add workers.

“Arizona will continue to be a growth state and businesses that have survived this Recession will be able to grow as the state continues to grow,” Burton said. “We see businesses are now investing in items such as new equipment and new expansion, which had been put on hold during the Recession. Businesses are also taking advantage of the current interest rate environment to fund their expansion.”

Lehmann agreed.

“As the economy continues to heal and grow,” he said, “so will the small businesses of Arizona.”

ade statewide data system

IO Raises $260 Million in Financing

IO, the global leader in software-defined data centers, today announced the closing of a new $260,000,000 multi-year credit facility led by Wells Fargo. IO’s existing bank group, consisting of Wells Fargo and Mutual Bank of Omaha, has been expanded to include Bank of America, Bank of Montreal, JPMorgan Chase Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, National Bank of Arizona, Goldman Sachs Lending Partners and Morgan Stanley Bank.

“We are pleased to have led the charge in this financing for IO, and we look forward to IO’s continued success and growth,” said Frank Pizzo, managing director and head of the Loan Syndications and High Yield Debt Capital Markets group at Wells Fargo Securities.

“This new credit facility will help IO to continue to design, engineer and deliver the world’s leading software-defined data center technology,” said George D. Slessman, IO CEO and Product Architect. “Our IO Intelligent Control® platform solves the data center needs of our customers in an efficient, scalable and cost-effective manner. We are pleased to continue our relationship with Wells Fargo and Mutual of Omaha, and welcome the new members of the bank group to IO.”

Wells Fargo Securities, BMO Capital Markets, J.P. Morgan Securities, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated and RBC Capital Markets served as joint lead arrangers.

NBA Check Presentation Photo

National Bank of Arizona Partners with YWCA

YWCA Maricopa County announced its new partnership with National Bank of Arizona (NB|AZ), to expand the YW’s Own It Financial Education Program, providing financial literacy to primarily low-income women and families at no-charge.

The YW is proud to be the foremost agency in Maricopa County providing financial education to people from all walks of life, many of whom are among the working poor, struggling to pay their bills and feed their families, even while working 40 hours or more a week. For 101 years in Arizona, the YW has provided women’s education, mentoring, and leadership to fulfill a common vision; equal opportunity for all people.  The YW believes a woman that is financially educated provides a better quality of life for herself and her family.

NB|AZ has always been a great supporter of the YW and its programs. Several of their employees volunteer to teach Own It classes, they sponsor major events like the YW’s Tribute to Leadership gala, and one of their employees, Mary Holman, has served on the YW Board for several years. This year, the NB|AZ Women’s Financial Group, a forum of professional women who join together to collaborate, network, and succeed in finance, business and life, will be joining forces with the YW to support its Athena PowerLink program. Athena PowerLink is a mentoring service that matches established professionals with upcoming women and minority business owners, in the hopes of helping them succeed.  By forming a partnership with YWCA Maricopa County, NB|AZ sends a shared message to our Arizona community; we care and are committed to its most vulnerable residents. With the support of NB|AZ, the YW will be able to expand its financial education program to reach more underserved individuals, and provide them with the tools they need to become financially stable.

“We could not be more pleased to award a $25,000 grant to the YWCA of Maricopa County in support of its ‘Own It’ Financial Education Program. Financial literacy for women is a mission that is shared and deeply valued by NB|AZ,” said Deborah Bateman, Executive Vice President, Director of Wealth Strategies at National Bank of Arizona. “The grant will enable the program’s expansion into smaller communities throughout Arizona, changing the lives of countless women through financial empowerment, education and awareness.”

If you are interested in learning more about Own It, you can visit www.ywcaaz.org, call the YW office at 602-258-0990, or email Financial Education Coordinator Bev Strom, at bev.strom@ywcaaz.org.

 

money management

National Bank of Arizona sponsors ThriveTime Challenge

National Bank of Arizona (NB|AZ) announced its sponsorship of the second annual ThriveTime Challenge, a statewide financial literacy initiative that aims to educate high school students about money management.

ThriveTime Challenge, founded by the 2013 NB|AZ Woman of the Year Sharon Lechter, is a tournament involving playing the award-winning ThriveTime for Teens board game. The board game was named the 2010 Creative Child Magazine Game of the Year and takes players on a financial rollercoaster where they must make crucial life decisions like buying cars and paying for college.

“We were honored to sponsor the ThriveTime Challenge for the second year in a row,” said Deborah Bateman, executive vice president and director of wealth strategies at NB|AZ. “Financial literacy is an important initiative to NB|AZ and we are pleased to support a program that encourages responsible money management beginning at a young age.”

Each participating school hosted its own single-round tournament and winners from each school progressed to a state-level competition on April 20 at Arizona State University West campus in Glendale.

The top three finalists of the state competition received scholarship dollars ranging from $2,500 to $5,000, and the home schools of each finalist received $1,000. Participation in the tournament was free for all participating schools and students.

For more information about the ThriveTime Challenge, contact Angela Totman at angela@pyff.net or visit www.thrivetimechallenge.com. For more information about National Bank of Arizona, visit www.nbarizona.com.

Sharon Lechter - headshot

NB|AZ names Lechter 2013 Woman of the Year

National Bank of Arizona (NB|AZ) announced Sharon Lechter as the winner of its fourth annual Women’s Financial Group (WFG) Woman of the Year Award. The award, designed to honor outstanding professional women throughout metropolitan Phoenix, was presented to Lechter during a ceremony last week.

Lechter is a local businesswoman, investor and financial literary activist whose philanthropic work has helped establish, educate and train professional women in the Valley. Lechter is the founder and CEO of “Pay Your Family First,” a money management program aimed to increase financial literacy among youth. She also is the co-author of “Rich Dad Poor Dad,” a financial self-help book that has sold more than 26 million copies worldwide.

“As host to the Women’s Financial Group, National Bank of Arizona continues to demonstrate its dedication to building a stronger community for us all,” Lechter said. “I am deeply honored and humbled to be chosen as the 2013 Woman of the Year and pledge my continued support of the bank’s efforts to encourage and ignite results driven collaboration among the fabulous women of Arizona.”

Woman of the Year Award finalists included Dena Patton and Stella Shanovich. Patton is the co-founder and president of “The Girls Rule Foundation,” has sat on the board of NAWBO and regularly coaches women on entrepreneurship, confidence and building business. Shanovich is a partner at Grant Thornton where she spearheaded “Women at Grant Thornton,” an in-house networking and leadership organization for professional women.

“At NB|AZ we take great pride in supporting local professional women who are making a positive impact in their communities,” said Deborah Bateman, executive vice president, director of wealth strategies of National Bank of Arizona. “We received many nominations for women qualified for this prestigious award and are honored to recognize Sharon Lechter as our 2013 Woman of the Year.”

All nominations for the Woman of the Year Award were reviewed by a selection committee comprised of industry leaders and the National Bank of Arizona Women’s Financial Group Advisory Council.

For more information about NB|AZ and the Woman of the Year award, please visit www.nbarizona.com.

Sharon Lechter - headshot

NB|AZ names Lechter 2013 Woman of the Year

National Bank of Arizona (NB|AZ) announced Sharon Lechter as the winner of its fourth annual Women’s Financial Group (WFG) Woman of the Year Award. The award, designed to honor outstanding professional women throughout metropolitan Phoenix, was presented to Lechter during a ceremony last week.

Lechter is a local businesswoman, investor and financial literary activist whose philanthropic work has helped establish, educate and train professional women in the Valley. Lechter is the founder and CEO of “Pay Your Family First,” a money management program aimed to increase financial literacy among youth. She also is the co-author of “Rich Dad Poor Dad,” a financial self-help book that has sold more than 26 million copies worldwide.

“As host to the Women’s Financial Group, National Bank of Arizona continues to demonstrate its dedication to building a stronger community for us all,” Lechter said. “I am deeply honored and humbled to be chosen as the 2013 Woman of the Year and pledge my continued support of the bank’s efforts to encourage and ignite results driven collaboration among the fabulous women of Arizona.”

Woman of the Year Award finalists included Dena Patton and Stella Shanovich. Patton is the co-founder and president of “The Girls Rule Foundation,” has sat on the board of NAWBO and regularly coaches women on entrepreneurship, confidence and building business. Shanovich is a partner at Grant Thornton where she spearheaded “Women at Grant Thornton,” an in-house networking and leadership organization for professional women.

“At NB|AZ we take great pride in supporting local professional women who are making a positive impact in their communities,” said Deborah Bateman, executive vice president, director of wealth strategies of National Bank of Arizona. “We received many nominations for women qualified for this prestigious award and are honored to recognize Sharon Lechter as our 2013 Woman of the Year.”

All nominations for the Woman of the Year Award were reviewed by a selection committee comprised of industry leaders and the National Bank of Arizona Women’s Financial Group Advisory Council.

For more information about NB|AZ and the Woman of the Year award, please visit www.nbarizona.com.

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Beau Lane Named Ad Person of the Year

Beau Lane, Chief Executive Officer of E.B. Lane, was named Ad Person of the Year at this year’s Phoenix ADDY Awards. The award was presented March 2 at the 28th Annual ADDY Awards Gala hosted by The Phoenix Ad Club and AD 2 Phoenix.

The ADDY Awards are the advertising industry’s largest and most representative competition, with the mission to recognize and reward creative excellence in the art of advertising. The Ad Person of the Year is one of the most prestigious awards presented at the event, with the winner chosen by the Ad2 Phoenix board of directors. Among a multitude of nominations, the winner must be an industry leader who is dedicated to making a positive impact through local community service, a contributor to the betterment of advertising, and presently active in advertising, marketing or communications.

Beau possesses extensive experience in sales and marketing, and supervises the daily operations and management activities of E.B. Lane in Phoenix and Denver. He has supervised successful advertising programs for numerous high profile clients, including Cable ONE, National Bank of Arizona, Arizona Cardinals and the Arizona Lottery, winners of four ADDY awards. Most notable, under Beau’s leadership, E.B. Lane oversaw the marketing efforts of Super Bowl XLII in 2008, and played an instrumental role in bringing the Super Bowl back to Arizona in 2015.

“It is rewarding to receive recognition as Ad Person of the Year,” Beau Lane CEO of E.B. Lane said. “I am fortunate to have such hard working and talented associates delivering exceptional results for our clients. Receiving spotlight recognition for our work along with one of our valued clients, the Arizona Lottery, is especially gratifying.”

In addition to Beau’s award, E.B. Lane earned four ADDY Awards this year for Arizona Lottery campaigns, including awards for the New $2 Powerball Jackpot Chasers and Hall of Winners Gaggle, in the television category, and an award for The Arizona Lottery Gift Shop campaign in the digital advertising category. In addition, E.B. Lane, in conjunction with True Story Films took home an ADDY in the sales promotion category for Arizona Lottery’s How the Money Helps: CASA spot, and partner, audioEngine|west won an ADDY in the music with lyrics category for the New $2 Powerball Jackpot Chasers TV spots.

To view the winning Arizona Lottery advertisements and the digital Gift Shop, visit www.arizonalottery.com. For more information about E.B. Lane, visit www.eblane.com.

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Women to watch in healthcare, energy, aerospace and technology

Here are some of the the Arizona innnovators who Az Business magazine thinks will be making waves in healthcare, energy, aerospace and technology in 2013:

Ruth Carter
Owner, Carter Law Firm
carterlawaz.com
Her background: After graduating from ASU Law School in 2011, she opened her own law firm in January 2012 and focused her practice on social media law, intellectual property, business formation and contracts, and flash mob law. She will deliver a talk entitled “Protecting Your Copyrights in Digital Media” at the South By Southwest Interactive (SXSW) in March 2013. She also wrote the book “The Legal Side of Blogging: How Not to get Sued, Fired, Arrested, or Killed.”
Fun fact: She was selected as an American Bar Association Legal Rebel in September 2012.
Her goal for 2013: To help entrepreneurs, writers, and artists turn their ideas into reality, to help them push the limits of what’s possible without crossing the line.

Michelle De Blasi
Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig
gtlaw.com
Her background: De Blasi focuses her practice on environmental law, with an emphasis on natural resources matters. She advises local and multi-national clients on energy and environmental sustainability, including the development of traditional and renewable energy power plants, climate change, and greenhouse gas emissions. She is a leader in many community organizations, including serving as the Co-Chair of the Arizona Energy Consortium, which has recently released the Arizona Energy Roadmap to further develop the state’s energy industry.
Fun fact: “I wanted to be an environmental attorney since junior high.  Working for six years at NOAA starting in law school was an amazing way to begin my career.”
Her goal for 2013: “Continue to assist my clients’ growth and expansion, including improving the regulatory and business atmosphere in the areas where they are located.”

MaryAnn Guerra
CEO, BioAccel
bioaccel.org
Her background: BioAccel was named the most promising initiative among the six winners of SSTI’s 2012 Excellence in TBED (technology-based economic development) awards. In three years, BioAccel — whose mission is to transform high-risk technologies into new businesses and high-wage jobs — has supported 11 companies in Arizona, investing more than $4 million directly as well as helping get an additional $15.5 million in downstream funding.
Fun fact: “I love camping outdoors in tents. After gathering wood from the forest, I  build the campfire, cook, then relax under the moonlight — with wine if possible.”
Her goal for 2013: “Personally: spend more time with my husband.  Professionally: expand BioAccel’s overall capacity, validate BioInspire as a model and help launch the BioAccel Accelerator Fund.”

Chevy Humphrey
President and CEO, Arizona Science Center
azscience.org
Her background: She oversees the $8 million operation of Arizona Science Center’s 185,000-square-foot facilities with more than 400 employees and volunteers. She is in line to become the next president of the Association of Science-Technology Centers, an international organization representing science centers and museums with more than 600 members in over 40 countries worldwide. She currently serves as its secretary-treasurer.
Fun fact: Humphrey secured the largest gift in the Center’s history – $3.5 million.
Her goal for 2013: “Maintain excellence as Arizona’s largest provider of informal science education while providing educators with professional development and resources supporting the new common core education standards.”

Mary Juetten
Founder and CEO, Traklight.com
traklight.com
Her background: While earning her JD at ASU, Juetten combined her new knowledge of the law with accounting designations and 25 years of management, business and financial consulting experience to create Traklight.com in 2010.  Traklight is an online software as service company that offers products for inventors, creators, start-up or small companies to identify, secure, and manage their intellectual property to reduce the risk of infringement and IP loss, all without any prior knowledge of IP.
Fun fact: She played ice hockey in Canada and Phoenix.
Her goal for 2013: “I plan to spend more time outside with my husband: golfing and hiking.  Traklight will build upon our October launch and expand nationally in 2013.”

Kim Kundert
Vice president of clinical operations
Clinical Research Advantage
Her background: Kundert received the 2012 Silver Stevie Award — which honors the world’s bets and brightest female entrepreneurs and executives — for Female Executive of the Year in the Business Services category. Kundert has been a driving force behind the rapid growth of CRA, a clinical trial management organization that has helped trial sponsors bring drugs to market more quickly and efficiently.
Fun fact: She was born in Germany on Christmas Day.
Her goal for 2013: “My goal is to open 20 new clinical trial sites.”

Jessica Langbaum
Principal scientist, Banner Alzheimer’s Institute
banneralz.org
Her background: Langbaum is actively involved in research activities focusing on the use of brain imaging for studying the earliest evidence of Alzheimer’s and on the design and execution of preclinical Alzheimer’s treatment trials. Langbaum has published papers in leading scientific journals on cognitive training, brain imaging and Alzheimer’s disease.
Fun fact: Her family has been in Arizona for generations.
Her goal for 2013: “Enroll 100,000 people in our Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry (endALZnow.org/registry), launch the Alzheimer’s Prevention Initiative (API)/Genentech trial, prepare for the next API-led trial, and potty train my son.”

Paula O’Neal Wichterman
Vice president, medical private banker, National Bank of Arizona
nbarizona.com
Her background: Wichterman is vice president in the Private Bank of National Bank of Arizona. Prior to joining NB|AZ, she spent 9 years in various advisor roles at two other lending institutions in both private banking and credit administration. In her role at NB|AZ, Wichterman is responsible for increasing NB|AZ’s focus on the physician and medical banking market.
Fun fact: “Being the Southern girl that I am, I LOVE to shoot sporting clays. It is a great stress reliever after a long week at work.”
Her goal for 2013: “I want to always inspire my family and friends. I try my best to lead by example. Whether it is at home or at work, I want to be the best that I can be.”

Angela Perez
Partner, Snell & Wilmer
swlaw.com
Her background: Perez is an Arizona native who holds a biology degree from Harvard University and law degree from The University of Arizona. She practices law in the field of business and finance, with special attention to representing clients in the biotechnology industry. Perez represents companies at all stages of their life cycle, from start-up to liquidity. Perez is committed to using her education and experience to improve the strength of Arizona’s economy by facilitating the growth of Arizona’s biotech industry.
Fun fact: Formed Snell & Wilmer’s Bioscience and Healthcare Industry Group shortly after graduating from law school.
Her goal for 2013: “Contribute to the success of my firm and clients by providing sound legal advice; support Arizona’s biotech industry; and shower my young family with love.”

Darcy Renfro
Vice president and coordinator of the Arizona STEM Network, Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz)
sfaz.org
Her background: Renfro is leading the way for Arizona’s STEM — science, technology, engineering, math — education initiatives. She spearheaded the development of SFAz’s Arizona STEM Network, a first-of-its-kind strategic effort to help transform Arizona’s educational system. The Network will help teachers and students prepare for the state-adopted, internationally benchmarked Common Core Standards, higher-education and careers that will help ensure our state remains globally competitive.
Fun fact: Arizona is just one of 16 states in the U.S. with developing or existing STEM Networks.
Her goal for 2013: “Increase the access and quality of STEM opportunities for Arizona’s students and teachers to inspire excitement and achievement in math and science.”

Virginia Rybski
President and CEO, Regenesis Biomedical, Inc.
regenesisbio.com
Her background: Rybski has combined 35 years of experience founding, building and growing emerging bioscience companies by developing and launching numerous advanced-technology, healthcare related products. She strategically positioned the company as a regenerative medicine business; raised $5.3 million in capital; has grows sales for 8 consecutive years; and helped it earn a position on the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in America in 2012.
Fun fact:
Her goal for 2013: “Focus on improving patient care, and helping to provide better patient outcomes while lowering the overall cost of care. Healthcare, now more than ever, needs collaboration between providers, patients, and manufacturers like Regenesis, to help rein in spiraling costs.”

Joyce Schroeder
Chief science officer, Arizona Cancer Therapeutics
arizonacancertherapeutics.com
Her background: Schroeder, program co-leader in Cancer Biology and Genetics at the Arizona Cancer Center, is moving toward clinical trials for breast cancer treatment that inhibits metastatic breast cancer growth at cellular level and it is non-toxic. In layman’s terms, this could block breast cancer growth without the toxic side effects of chemotherapy. She is also associate professor of molecular and cellular biology at the University of Arizona.
Fun fact: She is an avid Stephen King reader and loves Star Wars.
Her goal for 2013: “My goal for 2013 is to get our breast cancer drug approved by the FDA to be given to patients.”

Lori Singleton
Manager of Sustainability Initiatives and Technologies, SRP
srpnet.com
Her background: Singleton’s primary focus at SRP is environmental and renewable energy issues. Under her direction, SRP has provided incentives to more than 12,000 customers who have installed solar energy systems on their homes and businesses. In addition, she is an active volunteer and effective advocate serving on the boards of Audubon of Arizona and the National Solar Energy Power Association.
Fun fact: “Ballroom dancing is my passion. For me, it not only helps keep me physically fit but allows me to focus on something other than looming deadlines and work projects.”
Her goal for 2013: “As a Valley Forward board member, I will work to promote environmental quality statewide, elevate our state’s image and drive balanced policy as the organization evolves into Arizona Forward.”

Joy Seitz
Vice president of business and policy development, American Solar
americanpv.com
Her background: Since joining Scottsdale-based American Solar in 2009, Seitz has been a leading advocate for Arizona’s solar industry, making her presence felt everywhere that decisions are made about solar energy — city halls, Salt River Project and the Arizona Corporation Commission. Her company has designed and installed solar electric for more than 3,500 customers and created partnership with homebuilders including Shea Homes and AV Homes.
Fun fact: “I am a proud ASU West Campus graduate from the School of Global Management and Leadership, with an emphasis in finance.”
Her goal for 2013: “To put the power of solar energy into the hand of every homeowner. It is time that every Arizona homeowner understands that they can control what energy powers their home.”

Lois Wardell
Principal, Arapahoe SciTech
arapahost.com
Her background: Wardell’s technology focus includes unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and associated sensor technologies.  By developing partnerships with other innovators, she has been able to tackle technical challenges in emerging fields such as those in polar science. One example is a sterilization system for an ice drill that will access an Antarctic sub-glacial lake below a half-mile of ice to explore this unknown frontier on our planet.
Fun fact: Wardell has worked on all seven continents.
Her goal for 2013: “My goals include continued development of technology for exploration (both Earth and beyond) and to increase my focus on outreach activities to inspire students.”

Desert Schools - community service and leadership award

YWCA Hosts 2013 Tribute To Leadership Gala

YWCA Maricopa County will Host its 20th annual Tribute To Leadership Gala on February 23, 2013, at the Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix at 6:00pm. Guests will be provided an elegant setting to dine and dance to the wonderful Upper East Side Big Band.

Tribute To Leadership, our largest event of the year, will honor those who have made substantial contributions to eliminating discrimination, empowering women, and serving as champions to our community. The gala provides funding to support YWCA programs throughout the year; including financial education, advocacy and awareness programs, and essential services for seniors. Please join us on February 23rd to celebrate these amazing honorees. For more information, visit www.ywcaaz.org or call 602-258-0990.

2013 Tribute to Leadership Honorees:

Jaye Perricone, PetSmart, Advocacy Leader

Pamela Overton Risoleo, Greenberg Traurig, Community Service Corporate Leader

Andy Kramer, Banner Health Foundation, Community Service Nonprofit Leader

Michael Barnard, Phoenix Theatre, Creative Arts Leader

Paul Luna, Helios Education Foundation, Education Leader

Dean Victor Coonrod, MD-MPH, Maricopa Medical Center, Health & Science Leader

Patricia Little-Upah, retired, US Army Reserve, Military or Armed Service Leader

Angela Hughey, ONE Community Media, Public Service Leader

Karen Churchard, Arizona Centennial 2012 Foundation, Centennial Leader

Diana Taurasi, Phoenix Mercury, Sports Leader

Julie Sullivan, International Foundation for Education & Self-Help, Racial Justice Leader

A Guide to Applying for a Bank Loan

Are Arizona banks lending?

Are they or aren’t they?

Banks can only stay in business by making loans, not turning away customers who want to borrow money. So why does the public believe that banks aren’t lending?

“The truth of the matter is that when things were really bad a few years ago, banks weren’t lending,” said Robert Sarver, CEO of Western Alliance Bancorporation. “The banking business, not unlike other businesses, tend to react and overreact and sometime we react too much when times are good and we lend too much money on too liberal terms, and when times are tough, we don’t lend enough money and are too conservative.”

Banks are a business — a unique kind of business — that is under significant pressure to make a profit like any other like any other business. A typical bank, in healthy years, should earn a return on assets (ROA) of 1.1 percent to 1.5 percent. That translates into an return on equity (ROE), because of leverage, of anywhere between 8 percent and 18 percent, similar to most other businesses.

A bank makes its money by investing deposits into either securities or loans, both of which earn a return. Typically, loans earn more than securities and both earn more than what banks pay out to depositors. Although loans earn more, they come with a credit loss rate that a securities portfolio generally does not have. In 2009, in the depths of the economic crisis, a typical bank had a loan loss rate of 1.73 percent on its loan portfolio, which ate into the profitability of the bank. So what does a bank to do when it incurs such high loss rates in its loan portfolio? It invests in fewer loans.

But that is changing. Banks have increased their lending for four of the last five quarters, but Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) acting chairman Martin Gruenberg, is still taking a ”wait and see if the trend toward increased lending can be sustained” approach.

“Banks are lending today, and most banks have excess liquidity that they would prefer to put out in loans,” said Keith Maio, president and Chief Executive Officer of National Bank of Arizona. “Those that feel that banks aren’t lending are likely those who have had their credit compromised in recent years. Loan demand is down from consumers and businesses particularly, since the recession. The recession has caused many personal borrowers to be more conservative in their approach to leverage. Businesses tend to increase borrowing when their revenues are increasing and they need to finance that growth.”

Sarver said that banks do want to lend, “but unfortunately there is a lot of regulation in our industry, which to a certain degree has stifled long-term growth because our capital requirements have almost doubled over the last five years, so that’s been another barrier to banks lending money.”

As an outgrowth of those regulatory changes, lending standards have tightened in certain consumer loan categories like mortgages, experts said. But while mortgage rules have changed, lending standards for business haven’t seen dramatic shifts.

“Commercial lending standards for owner-occupied real estate and commercial and industrial loans have not changed much,” said Kevin Sellers, executive vice president with First Fidelity Bank in Arizona. “For investment property loans, banks are requiring owners to maintain more equity capital in the properties and higher net operating income relative to the property debt service.”

According to Adam White, senior vice president of credit administration at Biltmore Bank of Arizona, bankers have always used the “Five C’s of Credit” to determine if a business is credit worthy.  Those included:
1. Cash flow – history of positive cash flows and probability of recurring
2. Collateral – adequate collateral support
3. Capital – adequate capital to support normal business operations
4. Conditions – what’s affecting the business
5. Character – who are the people behind the business

“In today’s environment, banks emphasize ALL five elements,” White said, “whereas in the past too much reliance may have been placed upon appreciating collateral values under unsustainable market conditions.”

Kevin Halloran, Arizona state president of Mutual of Omaha Bank, said that while there have been shifts in the requirements banks are setting for lending, he sees the industry taking steps toward normalcy.

“I believe lending standards have returned to the original norm,” he said. “In the early to mid-2000s, the banking industry required only limited borrower documentation relating to income and other basic information for residential loans. Now, the industry is requesting proper information to make sound decisions.”

On the business lending side of the equation, “lending standards over the past 10 months have loosened in both pricing and structure for both large and small companies,” Halloran said.

And while some banks have pulled back lending activity, it’s definitely not the case at many Arizona banks.

“Loans at our company have grown 8 percent this year and in discussions with my colleagues at other financial institutions in the Valley, they are experiencing similar results,” said Dave Ralston, chairman and CEO of Bank of Arizona. “Loans are the lifeblood of a bank and at Bank of Arizona. loan growth is our number one priority.  We are seeing increasing demand from credit-worthy consumers and businesses in the Valley.”

Halloran echoed Ralston’s observations.

“Over the past three years, we have completed more than $500 million in new loans in Arizona,” Halloran said. “That includes commercial loans and commercial real estate financing across multiple industries, as well as private banking loans and residential mortgages. Our local commercial banking group has provided local businesses with working capital, revolving lines of credit, equipment loans, owner-occupied loans and merger and acquisition loans. Our commercial real estate group has provided loans in industrial, multi-family, senior and student housing, charter schools and multiple other real estate segments. So we have been – and will continue to be – a very active lender.”

A positive result in the changes in lending banks have been forced to examine in the wake of the Recession is that bank have learned lessons that will create a stronger business model for the industry.

“Banks need to consistently monitor their concentrations in all lending sectors and understand they can only provide so much capital to any one industry,” Halloran said. “Arizona’s population grew so much over the past decade that it resulted in a substantial need for real estate lending. The concentration Arizona banks had in real estate negatively affected all Arizona banks.  In the future, I believe all banks will be better at managing their overall balance sheet risk as a percentage of capital.”

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Are Arizona’s anti-deficiency statutes feeding the bubble?

Jack and Jill were living the American dream. They bought their dream house in 2006. Then, the economy spiraled downward. Jack lost his job. Housing values dropped, and the amount remaining on Jack and Jill’s mortgage exceeded the value of the property — commonly known as having a house that is “under water.”

Jack and Jill didn’t want to pay the mortgage any more, so they walked away, leaving the bank to clean up the mess from their financial misstep.

They were able to do that because of Arizona’s anti-deficiency statute, which says that if a person or corporation owns a residential property on 2.5 acres or less that is used as a dwelling, the owner is not responsible for any deficiency occurring after a foreclosure, according to Lynne B. Herndon, city president for BBVA Compass.

“The difference between the fair market value of the home — or the amount that the foreclosure sale brings — and the loan balance is known as a deficiency,” said Paul Hickman, president and CEO of the Arizona Bankers Association. “In Arizona, the bank suffers that loss, not the homeowner who walks away from the home.”

But it’s not only the homeowners — whom the statutes were intended to protect — who are catching the breaks.

“Unfortunately, the statute has been interpreted more broadly than originally intended such that properties used for investment are also covered,” Herndon said.

Arizona is one of only 12 states that has some form of anti-deficiency protection. Of the 12, Herndon said Arizona has the most liberal statute.

“This statute absolutely contributed to the housing bubble as investors both in this state and outside of the state knew they could buy residential real estate in Arizona and walk away if the investment became negative,” Herndon said. “Homeowners in this state have experienced larger declines in home value due to this statute allowing investors to speculate and walk away.”

The incidence of homeowners like Jack and Jill walking away from their home, avoiding hundreds of thousands of dollars of negative equity in their home, and legally sticking their lenders with a loss and became an all-too-common move during the Recession, experts said.

“In my view, the average borrower was not likely aware of the finer points of the anti-deficiency statutes when determining whether to purchase a home,” said Jennifer Hadley Dioguardi, a partner in Snell & Wilmer’s Phoenix office. “However, once the housing market crashed, the anti-deficiency statutes likely caused some homeowners who had the means to make their mortgage payments to decide to simply walk away from the residence given the fact that the lender had no recourse against them other than to foreclose upon the residence once the residence was under water. The borrower was not responsible for the deficiency. This likely contributed to some homeowners who could pay their mortgage simply walking away from the property and leaving the lender on the hook.”

Experts believe that homeowners and investors who seized the opportunity to take advantage of Arizona’s anti-deficiency statutes to protect their own financial futures, might be stifling the state’s chance at an economic recovery and exacerbating the economic collapse.

“The broadness of the deficiency statute has had an overall negative impact not just on the banking industry, but more importantly, Arizona’s long-term economy,” said Keith Maio, president and chief executive officer of National Bank of Arizona. “Arizona’s statute is the most liberally interpreted of the 12 non-recourse/deficiency states, the majority of which limit the protection to primary residences or some other means that limit its contribution to speculation. In Arizona, it allows investors to finance their speculation in housing, risk-free. If their investment does not work out, they don’t have to pay back the difference between what they sold the home for and what they owe. This statute was intended to protect homeowners, but what it has really done is hurt traditional homeowners by opening them up to large swings in housing values. I believe the impact, while negatively effecting banks earnings, is greater on the homeowners in the community at large.”

Despite the impact on the overall economy, it’s still been the banks who take the initial and biggest hit because they are often precluded from recovering the balance of the loan deficiency from the foreclosed borrower. While short sales are not protected by the Arizona’s anti-deficiency statutes, lenders have often been willing to agree to short sales and reduce or otherwise waive deficiency claims, because lenders know they could not otherwise recover loan deficiencies, should the borrower elect to foreclose.

“The deficiency statute has led to greater losses for residential lenders in Arizona because they cannot obtain a judgment against the borrower who may have the ability to repay the deficiency,” Kevin Sellers, executive vice president of First Fidelity Bank. “Lenders’ inability to pursue the borrower for the deficiency creates an environment that results in a higher incidence of strategic defaults.”

The biggest problem for lenders may be that it doesn’t appear that they will get any relief from lawmakers. Dioguardi said properties initially covered by the anti-deficiency statutes had to be two and one-half acres or less and utilized either for a single one-family or a single two-family dwelling. This language was interpreted by the Arizona Supreme Court to require that the dwelling be built and at least occasionally occupied.

“However, a recent decision by the Arizona Court of Appeals has extended the anti-deficiency protection to cover a residence that was not yet constructed and in which the borrowers had never resided,” Dioguardi said. “The Court found that even though the home was never utilized for a residence as required by the statute, because the borrowers intended to live in the single-family home upon its completion, they were subject to the protections of the anti-deficiency statute.”

The court decision, Dioguardi said, needs to be refined to protect both lenders and borrowers.

“Given that the Arizona Supreme Court declined the petition for review of the decision, the legislature should amend the statute to make it even clearer that the borrower must physically inhabit the property to claim the protection of the anti-deficiency statute,” she said. “The current risk to lenders created by the decision as it currently stands will likely drive up the cost of construction loans.”

Bank executives also believe that amending — not necessarily getting rid of — the state anti-deficiency statutes is what the banking industry needs to continue on the road to post-Recession economic recovery.

“A very reasonable solution proposed by the Arizona banking community is to simply require that a property protected from a deficiency judgment be the primary residence of you or a member of your family as already defined in Arizona’s property tax statues,” Maio said. “This will have the effect of limiting this protection for homeowners, which is what was intended. Those in our Arizona business community that oppose this type of change are motivated by their own special interests. Those whose real motivation is to profit on speculative investment or from the fees and commissions that come from buying and selling speculative homes for profit, you will oppose this type of change. But for the rest of us that want to protect Arizonans from future bubbles and encourage a long-term and sustainable economy, we should support this simple change, as it is in our best long-term interest.”