Become A Member!
This is a printer friendly page!
Having Accomplished Their Original Goal Of Growing A Billion
Dollar Business Bank In Southern Nevada, Community Bancorp Is Now Focused On Being A
Multi-State Bank Holding Company Capitalizing On High-Growth Market
Regional Pacific Banks
400 South 4th Street, Suite 215
Las Vegas, NV 89101
Edward M. Jamison
President and CEO
Interview conducted by:
Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor
Published August 31, 2007
Edward M. Jamison
President and CEO
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 of the Bank and Chairman, President
and Chief Executive Officer of Community Bancorp. Previously, Mr. Jamison was founder,
Vice Chairman, 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
is a bank holding company headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada, with two operating bank
subsidiaries: 1) Community Bank of Nevada, and 2) Community Bank of Arizona. Community
Bank of Nevada is a Nevada state chartered bank providing a full range of commercial and
consumer bank products through twelve branches located in the greater Las Vegas area and
two loan production offices in Southern California and Arizona. Community Bank of Arizona
(formerly Cactus Commerce Bank), an Arizona state chartered bank, operates through two
full-service branches in the greater Phoenix area and acquired in September 2006. We
provide commercial banking services, including real estate, construction, commercial loans
and SBA loans, to small and medium-sized businesses.
CEOCFO: Mr. Jamison, what was your vision when you
founded Community Bancorp and where are you today?
Mr. Jamison: Next week it will be 12 years since
we started the bank. The vision was to grow a business bank model here in southern Nevada
to take advantage of the tremendous growth and the goal was to be a billion-dollar
institution, and we have surpassed that. I think we have somewhat accomplished the vision
and we are on to the next vision, which is a multi-state bank holding company capitalizing
on high-growth markets of not only Clark County and southern Nevada; but Maricopa and
Phoenix where we have a bank; and to have a bank in what is called the Inland Empire/
Riverside and San Bernardino counties in southern California.
CEOCFO: On your website it
says, More financial innovation than financial institution, what is different
in Community Bank?Mr. Jamison: I think our
difference is in the delivery of the technology that we try to provide to our people,
becoming more innovative and looking at the processes of how fast we can get something
accomplished for our customers.
CEOCFO: Who is your typical
Mr. Jamison: Small to medium sized businesses,
professional law firms, medical centers, architects, doctors, dentists, builders, and
developers. That would be our primary market.
CEOCFO: How do you attract new
Mr. Jamison: We attract new business through
personal contact. 89% of the loans that we obtain our referrals from current customers. We
try to treat them right, be innovative, and we obtain our referrals from our customers Our
bank has been built on our people, their service to their customers who in turn refer us
other potential customers.
CEOCFO: How have you fared in
the interest rate economy of today?
Mr. Jamison: Our interest rate environment is
something that in the thirty plus years that I have been in this business, we have not had
to address. Net interest margins are narrowing due in part to the inverted yield curve and
the competition for deposits is unique. Historically, the banks depended on non-interest
bearing accounts to fund their credits, whereas now that is becoming less of a factor and
alternative sources of financing such as broker deposits, internet deposits, those types
of funding sources part of todays banking environment, are really I think where
banking is going to end up.
CEOCFO: What is the financial
picture like today for Community Bancorp?
Mr. Jamison: We believe we are well on track in
our budget and our strategic plan. Even with the financial challenges we have, I think we
are doing very well. Being a public company there is not much we can say about our
CEOCFO: You are growing by
acquisition and opening more branches; what is the strategy - how do you decide what and
Mr. Jamison: Our primary strategy is organic
growth, we want to grow internally. If we cannot grow internally and we have to rely on
acquisitions for growth, it could be a fundamental flaw in our model. We have tried to
grow organically and strategically look for acquisitions that compliment what we do. We
have completed two in-market transactions over the last two years here in Las Vegas and an
acquisition in the Phoenix Arizona market. We are looking for organic growth and the right
opportunities for acquisitions.
CEOCFO: Is it difficult going
into another state, and what are the challenges of moving outside your area?
Mr. Jamison: We did some forward movement into
the Arizona and southern California market by opening loan production offices, getting
familiarity with how they operate, what kind of lending opportunities are available,
getting more familiar with the marketplace, and then in Arizona acquired a bank. We had
some familiarity with the market already since a number of our customers operate in Nevada
and Arizona. We operate in California and are looking for additional opportunities.
Acquiring and going into a different state comes with a set of challenges. We found that
the Arizona market has been very favorable to us and we are growing there.
CEOCFO: Did you just open a new
office in Nevada?
Mr. Jamison: We recently opened our 13th
office in southern Nevada. We will open our 3rd office in Arizona in the next
thirty days, so that will put us with a total of 16 offices in the two markets.
CEOCFO: As you continue to
expand, how do you keep the personal touch?
Mr. Jamison: That is the biggest challenge, not
to move your culture. The culture has always been relationship and service oriented and to
bring that to the next level in size has its challenges, especially when you have to bring
in new people. The new people bring in new cultures and new ways of doing banking. Maybe
they have a big bank culture from training in a more user-friendly
environment. We have been very successful at it. I think people still perceive us as a
local bank that is responsive and can get something done. We try to keep the
decision-makers on the ground instead of saying it has to be decided elsewhere. That has
helped us. We are visible in the community as a community-minded bank.
CEOCFO: Are there new products
and services that you would like to add?
Mr. Jamison: Remote capture for deposits,
e-statements, everything in the electronic world we are trying to integrate into our
system to provide easy access to our customers. We are constantly looking to be ahead of
our competition as to electronic media of banking because it is so convenient and cost
effective. We right now have couriers, there are eight couriers out there picking up
deposits everyday to businesses in our community. Remote capture, e-statements can
eliminate that expense and provide and deliver the same service to a customer right in
their own office. They can make their own deposits anytime they want without having to
come in to the bank or wait for our couriers to come pick up their deposits. Technology
for us is a prime strategic initiative that is going to help us differentiate us.
CEOCFO: If someone walks into
one of your branches, what is different?
Mr. Jamison: If you walked into a branch of our
bank today it would be that we have very efficient offices. We spend a lot of money to
make people feel comfortable; it is very professionally done. They would sit back and say
where are all of the customers. The reason why I say that is we are the bank that goes to
you, whether through courier, electronic means, lending; we are all out going to your
place rather than waiting for you to come into our place. The busiest times at our branch
for us are paydays when people come in to cash their payroll checks. If you want to do an
account with us, and you are a business, we will go out and open the account at your
office. Our offices are fairly small, but you do not have stand-up tellers, they are
sit-down for convenience and comfort of our customers. If you come to a teller, that
teller can open a new account or transact your business right there as you are sitting
there. There are not lines, no pens on a rope; we give out pens with our brand on it at
all of our branches, so there is a different feel. It is a comfortable feel with excellent
CEOCFO: Do you do much
Mr. Jamison: Yes, in both markets we do. We
advertise on billboards, direct mail, radio and newsprint.
CEOCFO: Are your customers
taking advantage of many of your services or is there work to be done to encourage more
Mr. Jamison: As we have grown, having multiple
products for each customer is becoming more and more important. We are doing a better job
with that in the last two years than we have in the past. Having your electronic bill-pay
seems to be a real service not only from the consumers end, but from the business end.
Through electronic banking if we can link them in and get them comfortable with that, they
seem to stay and then we can add other complimentary products to that.
CEOCFO: Is the investment
community paying attention?
Mr. Jamison: I think we have been well received
in the market since we went public a couple of years ago. It is always a new experience
coming from a private, to go public. The disclosure requirements and the whims and
movement of the market every ninety days it seems is new. The public market takes a little
narrower shorter view of performance than we are accustomed to but we are adapting, but I
think they have received us well. We make a lot of institutional investors in our
institutions, so we think they like what they see.
CEOCFO: Why should investors be
interested and what perhaps does not jump of the page at first glance?
Mr. Jamison: I think the opportunity to own a
part of a several billion dollar banking company in the high-growth markets of Las Vegas,
Phoenix and California; the three markets identified as the fastest growing counties in
the United States for not only population, but for employment. We have always believed
that our driving force isnt necessarily just population, it is the reason for the
population growth and that is job growth and employment. The more jobs we get, the more
people come in, the more prosperity we see within our own institution and our communities.
In any community bank no matter what size, it is a reflection of your community and our
community is still strong, robust and growing and that is what we want to continue to do
in those outlying markets as well.
CEOCFO: Do you have any final
thoughts for our readers and what should they remember about Community Bancorp?
Jamison: From an institutional investor or a regular investor, I think
our bank is always a good choice. You have not seen some of our ads, but one of the things
we have trademarked is a round ball and inside of it, it says, bank on it, and
we believe that is the service level we provide and the relationships we have developed.
In addition, to the institutional investors that you can bank on it, we are
going to be a great bank.
Any reproduction or further distribution of this
article without the express written consent of CEOCFOinterviews.com is prohibited.