The Financial Brand Insights - Fall 2022

Tell us a bit about what high- performing culture means to you. Why is this something banks should invest in? To take a step back, I joined Encore in October 2020, smack in the middle of the pandemic. We had a completely blank slate from a technology perspective and we were running the bank on the back of Microsoft products. But that blank slate posed an opportunity that ended up being an integral part of our culture and how we think about digital adoption. As we began to build, the Encore team worked together to develop a technology and innovation thesis that serves as our North Star to this day. Included in it were our goals for efficiency and experience, and what we needed from each team member internally and tech partnership externally to accomplish those goals. We established three pillars — driving commercial loan volume, driving core deposits and generating substantial noninterest revenue — to make sure our entire team knew what our focus was at any given time. It sounds a bit cheesy, but all of us wear these bracelets that read “We Win Together,” which is a spirit we like to embody both internally and with our external partners. We’re always looking at what type of culture it would take to build a successful digital bank. To us, that looks like an institution built around very few FTEs, very few branches and good efficiency ratios. Shared Spirit: It sounds a bit cheesy, but all of us wear these bracelets that read “We Win Together,” which is a spirit we like to embody both internally and with our external partners.

Keeping Momentum: We’re an organization that’s only three years old and we’ve grown from $120 million in assets to almost $3 billion during that short time. I think we all feel incredibly proud of that and want to use this moment of recognition to keep that momentum. consumer deposits, mortgages, treasury, specialty finance, you name it. We’re essentially managing eight to ten businesses all at once— each of them being extremely high-growth and with different needs when it comes to tech, risk assessment and compliance. Digital adoption and powerful, easy-to-use technology are integral to our ability to not only keep track of all these needs, but to perform the necessary actions efficiently. How does Encore’s tech partner ecosystem fit into your plans for the future? We really enjoy working with fintech partners that are only two or three years in. We’re in a similar stage with respect to the evolution of our business. The key for us is making sure we’re aligned on the ways we as a bank can influence these products as they evolve and vice versa. Let me put it this way. I have zero developers on staff here at Encore. Yet we’ve been able to grow by almost $2.5 billion without one. That shouldn’t be possible, but with the right tech partners, it is. I have no qualms saying that out of all the banks across the country, we probably rely on our technology partners more than anyone else. I just see that reliance as a strength more than a weakness — one that will be extremely influential in how we navigate the coming months and years.

Evolution to B2B: Ultimately what I think has happened is we have all these

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people running businesses that have been using these new, slick products for their personal financial services and will begin to expect these same experiences on the business side.

Another aspect of building the right culture for a digitally focused bank is maintaining excitement for the future. I feel strongly that despite the success we’ve experienced in the past three years, our team is aligned on the notion that our work is just getting started. So, all that is to say, I think a high-performing culture is one that promotes clarity while simultaneously nurturing excitement for the future of our work at Encore. It’s that alignment and excitement that keeps us from being afraid of working with new tech partners and allows us to get the most out of those relationships. What else excites you about the future of banking? I’m excited about the evolution of fintech into the commercial side. The B2B side of fintech will be interesting just because most of the action to date has been in B2C. Ultimately what I think has happened is we have all these people running businesses that have been using these new, slick products for their personal financial services and will begin to expect these same experiences on the business side. But like many new opportunities, it will pose a challenge for fintechs looking to get into the space simply because serving commercial customers is much less cookie-cutter than serving retail. Every company, deal, loan opportunity and deposit will be unique. The scale will be larger. The problems will be more complex. The fintechs that hope to serve this population must account for this in a customer-focused way. It’ll be hard, but it’ll be awesome. ▪

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THE FINANCIAL BRAND INSIGHTS FALL 2022

THE FINANCIAL BRAND INSIGHTS FALL 2022

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