Mark McGrory has been with Merchants Bank for over 30 years and has served on our Executive Leadership Team for over 10 years. Throughout this time, Mark has helped many businesses evaluate their viability and learned a lot along the way. We asked him to share some of his expertise.
What has your professional career path looked like?
I started as a Commercial Banker in 1986. I helped customers work toward their business goals for 9 years, then I became the Commercial Banking Department Manager. In 2007, I became Chief Credit Officer. Over the years I’ve learned a lot about what may or may not work for different businesses in a variety of industries.
What kind of professionals make up a strong team to help a business succeed?
It’s important to surround yourself with knowledgeable and experienced people in your field. It’s helpful to have a team of professionals you trust, which should include:
- A banker
- An attorney
- An insurance professional
- A business mentor – someone who is doing well on a large scale in your field, someone you trust to provide honest guidance, with your best interests at heart.
Have you seen any risk trends in different industries?
One of the big industries that affects communities large and small is commercial real estate. There’s been lengthy expansion in that area over the last 10 years. Some markets have become over-built, which may be starting to create a value bubble. This would certainly have a ripple effect in our local economies.
What are some positive features you like to see from a business during the loan application process?
When we’re evaluating a business’s risk level and deciding when to give them a loan, a lot of factors come into play. But very generally, we like to see a well-run, well-capitalized company; that income vs. debt are well balanced.
Another aspect of a business we like to see is when a company is performing at a higher level than those in their peer group – that is, better than similar businesses in their field.
It’s important to understand how what’s happening in your industry and economy will impact your business’s financial situation.
Tips for managing a stable business?
One of the best things you can do for your business is make sure your team consists of good people you can rely on. Business always starts with people, and a successful one never underestimates the impact of good employees and team members.
Another thing to make sure you continue to work on is understanding the market you’re competing in – be aware of trends and what your customers are looking for. It’s a good idea to subscribe to industry newsletters and perhaps join an association or organization specific to your field.
And finally, take calculated risks – make sure you weigh what you stand to gain vs. what you stand to lose – and when making those business decisions, always have a plan B in case your ideal situation doesn’t work out.
Our commitment to community banking starts with our Executive Leadership Team. The Team pursues continued company success by focusing on our foundation of building community through banking and our Merchants Bank mission and core values . Our Executive Team works with our Regional Presidents, Market Presidents, Managers and all branch staff every day to ensure our customers come first.
Watch our video series to get to know our Executive Team.