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Community Bancorp has
been profitable and growing since the day it was founded in July 1995
Regional Pacific Banks
400 South 4th Street Suite 215
Las Vegas, NV 89101
Edward M. Jamison
Chairman, President & CEO
Interview conducted by:
Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor
November 9, 2006
Mr. Jamison is a founder of Community Bank of Nevada and has served as Chief Executive
Officer since our inception. He now serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the
Bank and Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Community Bancorp. Previously,
Mr. Jamison was a founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nevada Community Bank
of Nevada from its inception in 1990 until its sale in 1993 to First Security Corporation.
Prior to that Mr. Jamison had been a Senior Vice President of another First Security
Corporation subsidiary in Utah from 1984 to 1989. He is the past President/Chairman and
current director of the Board of the Better Business Bureau of Southern Nevada. Currently,
Mr. Jamison serves as the Chairman of the Opportunity Village Foundation, Past Chairman
and current Director of the Las Vegas Natural History Museum, Past President of the Nevada
Bankers Associations and Director, Past President and current director of the Las Vegas
Southwest Rotary Club, Chairman and Director of the Western Independent Bankers
Association, Member of the Board of Directors of the Western Independent Bankers Service
Corporation and Chairman of the Nevada Community Reinvestment Corporation, Board Member of
the National Advisory Council for the Small Business Administration. In addition, Mr.
Jamison is a member of the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce, Nevada Development Authority,
Nevada Bankers Association, and Boy Scouts of America. Mr. Jamison has been involved in
the banking industry for over 32 years. Mr. Jamison holds a B.S. degree in Marketing and
Community Bancorp operates as the holding company for Community Bank of Nevada, which
provides commercial banking products and services in Nevada. It accepts personal checking
and savings accounts, electronic banking, and other consumer banking products. The bank
also provides commercial real estate loans, construction loans, commercial and industrial
loans, and land acquisition and development loans. Its customers include developers,
contractors, professionals, distribution and service businesses, local residential home
builders, and manufacturers. The company was formed in 2002 and is headquartered in Las
CEOCFO: Mr. Jamison, what was your vision when the bank
started and where are you today?
Mr. Jamison: We founded the bank in
July of 1995. It was originally started as a privately held bank, and raised $8.1 million
dollars. From that point on, since the second month, we have been profitable every month
thereafter and growing.
You did an IPO in December of 2004; why was that the time for it?
Mr. Jamison: We thought it would be
appropriate to look for some synergistic mergers and when we went to talk to other
privately held banks, it became difficult to have, what is there currency really worth.
The thought was if we went public and had a public currency, then maybe acquisitions would
become something that we could do. When I started this bank, I told our investor group
that we would go for ten years and see how it works and then make a decision, and look for
some opportunities with some liquidity in it for them. In 2005, we looked at it as an
alternative to provide (inaudible) liquidity. We have accomplished both those agendas by
providing liquidity, by going public and allowing some currency to do an acquisition,
which we did.
Who is your target customer, and what is important about Las Vegas in terms of your
Mr. Jamison: Most people would think
this is a very liberal community, but Las Vegas is a very conservative community in the
general sense, and that is even including the casino industry. It is a growth market and
it has always been growing. It becomes almost a cultural issue that growth is part of who
we are and what we do. Further, it is growth in many aspects whether it is population,
building or casino growth. Likewise, as a business model, we have very little consumer or
retail trade. We focus on the high-end cap net-worth individuals as well as the business,
whether it is a medical profession, building trade, architects or engineers. We have a
high percentage in construction lending; that is what we manufacture here in Las Vegas.
Your mission is to provide effective high-quality banking services. What do
you do that gets you there; what sets you apart from the competition?
Mr. Jamison: That has always been a
foundation of the bank, and it is through personal bankers, services and relationships
that you develop and provide a little bit quicker response. I think that is probably the
most frustrating thing for people to deal with, the time issue. They make a request and
there is no response. We pride ourselves on being very responsive even if it is a quick
no. At least we have an answer for them so that they can decide on their own. We deal with
our customers on a one-to-one basis. We have calling officers, couriers out picking up
deposits and many things that add to the customer service. They know the customers
by name. It is becoming a little more problematic the bigger we get but we do not have
long lives in our offices, so we try to make it an easy experience.
Do people come into the branches or is more of the banking done off premise, by phone or
Mr. Jamison: We have very little lobby
traffic. We are actually out communicating with the customers at their place of business.
How does the lack of branch traffic match with your branch expansion?
Mr. Jamison: When we place a new
branch, we have already scouted local businesses. We do a push in the area six months
prior to opening accounts. It is just personal services knowing that we are coming into
the market. We are continuing to open branches because we have some retail, which is
primarily business, and businesses like to have their bank close by. We have to be in a
proximity to where they are.
Are there services you need to offer that you are not offering?
Mr. Jamison: Personal wealth
management is something we are looking at. As we have seen the Las Vegas market grow, we
have seen each individuals net worth grow and therefore as they seek out retirement,
we need to be able to provide them some counsel on financial and wealth management.
Lets talk about numbers; they were certainly spectacular last quarter. What is
driving the results and how do you continue?
Mr. Jamison: We believe that since the
IPO, it allowed us to attract some more talented bankers. This is a privately held
institution. I assumed because I did another bank on the market that had it and sold it
that that would be what happens here. To move to one institution from the other, thinking
well why would I do that, when the institution that I am already at may buy them anyway
and I am just going to be back to where I am. When we went public, I think it served
notice to the bankers that we were here to stay and we were going to continue to grow; it
attracted other talented people to us, and it has helped us grow. Likewise, we still see
ourselves adding talented bankers to continue our growth. Are our numbers going to
continue at that? Well eventually, the law of large numbers takes effect and you cant
continue to do that. We believe our pipeline and our growth is still substantial for 2006
and even into 2007.
Are many of your customers taking advantage of a variety of services or is there more work
to be done there?
Mr. Jamison: There is always
opportunity to provide more products and services to each customer and we are working on
initiatives for that.
You have a couple of loan production offices out of Nevada, what is that all about?
Mr. Jamison: When we did an IPO in
2004, our strategy was to expand our footprint. Eventually as a larger bank, you are going
to need some economic diversity and that comes by location. Likewise, we felt that the
growth in the west is in primarily three markets; Las Vegas, (inaudible) county, which is
where Phoenix, Scottsdale, and the San Bernardino, San Diego area are really the places
where growth is occurring. We have operated in a growth market; those are very compatible
markets for growth. We opened loan production offices simply to obtain intelligence of the
market so that if we wanted to do a de novo or an acquisition in those markets, we would
have somebody there.
Do you see more acquisitions in the local area?
Mr. Jamison: There are few choices.
There are not a lot of smaller community banks that would fit into what we are trying to
accomplish. Are there some here that we would not mind associating with? Yes. My personal
job is to look at those relationships and see if they would match with us, in not only
this market but also the other markets.
You mentioned knowing everyone by name and as you get bigger, that becomes more difficult.
What do you have in place so that you can keep the level of service and the level
of commitment as you continue to grow?
Mr. Jamison: What we try to do and it
is becoming a real charge for us, is make sure that every new employee knows our core
values of what we stand for and what we are trying to do. It is a transition when you come
from a big national named bank, to a smaller bank where service becomes important rather
than a number. It takes that training; we try to instill upon the new employees and our
current employees, our values. One is our commitment to our employees, their commitment to
us, and our commitment to our community. Our values are to exceed customer expectations
and likewise to maximize shareholder values. Those four values are key to what we try to
do and it is ingrained in our people as they go along and I think that exceeding customer
expectation is always the basis for what we do.
Why should potential investors be interested and what should they realize about the bank
that doesnt jump off the page?
Mr. Jamison: I dont think you
can quantify the employee management and commitment. It is evidenced by the numbers but I
do not think they realize you can really quantify the magnitude of commitment to move
Is reaching investors a focus for you?
Mr. Jamison: I think it bears to our
results. Last year in 2005, was our first year as a full public reporting company; we had
a good response. We opened a branch and did an acquisition. We grew and made substantial
profit from the year before. The first quarter set the tone even further for 2006 and 2005
was our first year of a public company but the benefits were reaping in 2006, 2007 and the
What would you say is the daily are your functions of you and your management team?
Mr. Jamison: Primarily we are dealing
and looking at executing our vision, whether it is dealing at opportunities for new
relationships internally, customers relationships, employee development, investor
relations, press communication, potential acquisitions or mergers, or at least looking
into it. That is basically my day, taken from what has just happened today.
In closing, what should people know about Las Vegas?
Mr. Jamison: I think people need to
know that Las Vegas is a very good place to live, work, grow, and has a great, tremendous
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