Nevada State Bank venture pays off, even in recession

Nevada State Bank launched The Private Bank, a wealth management business, four years ago in the middle of an economic recession. The risky decision has paid dividends for the bank by increasing brand awareness among a high-net- worth clientele.

It has also benefited Nevada State Bank’s balance sheet.

“Our goals were to grow by double digits annually for the first five years,” said Russell Price, director of The Private Bank and executive vice president with Nevada State Bank. “We’ve done that. We are the size of a very profitable community bank.”

Price expects that double-digit percentage growth in market share and revenue to continue in an underserved market.

Nevada State Bank earned $21.8 million in 2012. Year-over-year growth in checking deposits was $134.3 million; consumer loan balances increased $43.4 million.

The Las Vegas-based bank did not break out 2012 earnings for The Private Bank.

Price said the bank grew by successfully marketing to the region’s baby boomers.

“The long-term trend is going to be assisting baby boomers with their financial needs,” Price said. “They are looking for help growing their business, selling their business or even transferring it to the next generation.”

He said the bank’s mission isn’t just about wealth management, but a coordinated effort to offer everything within one unit. The Private Bank also offers financial planning, private banking, trust and estate services, philanthropic services and business banking.

“Our mission is to understand their needs and provide the highest level of service to high-net-income individuals in Nevada,” Price said. “It starts with the reports we’ve rolled out since October. No one does that in Nevada.”

The Private Bank by Nevada State Bank has released five reports examining topics including wealth and home values lost during the recession, and changes in the federal tax code and their effect on the richest Nevadans.

“Service comes down to knowledge,” Price said. “We want to understand what issues they are facing.”

The Private Bank has 15 employees. Price said he recruited employees who were more than just transaction-oriented; he wanted them to understand wealth management, trust services and other services the bank was offering.

“I had a different goal in mind when we started the bank,” Price said. “We wanted to offer value in terms of advice, not just value in terms of transactions.”

He said the bank also aims to preserve clients’ wealth.

The average net worth of a Private Bank customer is $10 million to $12 million. He described the average customer as a business owner who “had started to accumulate a large amount of liquid wealth.”

“They are concerned about preserving what (they) have and transferring it to the next generation,” he said. “They want someone they can trust, who is not pushing their own products.”


City National Bank has launched a new online and mobile business application for its customers

Its new City National Book2Bank software will let small-business clients automate payments, manage invoices and streamline internal payment approval processes.

“Book2Bank streamlines and secures the payment process, improves controls and gives our clients the simple, intuitive experience they expect,” said James Daley, executive vice president and treasury services manager for City National Bank.

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Plaza Bank received its first ever five-star rating from Bauer Financial, an independent bank ratings agency. The bank, with branches in Las Vegas and Irvine, Calif., was also highly ranked by The Findley Reports, which listed the bank with a “performer” rating.

“This is an outstanding achievement and compliment to our entire team,” Plaza Bank President and CEO Gene Galloway said. “It took years to set the bank’s foundation and we plan to keep building on it.”

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Bill Flaxa and Col. Pete Peterson were recently re-elected to serve another three-year term on the One Nevada Credit Union’s board of directors. During the board’s annual meeting last month, Vince Eckelkamp was named board chairman, Dennis Shipley was named vice chairman and Peterson was named secretary and treasurer.

Peterson along with Mark Olson, Peter Scully, Ralph Schneider and Connie Akridge were appointed to another one-year term on the board’s supervisory committee. Sheila Cannon, Haigohe Miller and Bill Gibson were also reappointed to one-year terms on the appeals committee.

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Zions Capital Trust B on May 3 will redeem all of its outstanding 8 percent capital securities consisting of 11.4 million shares with an aggregate liquidation amount of $285 million. The trust is owned by Salt Lake City-based Zions Bancorp, which owns Nevada State Bank in Las Vegas.