Crestmark Bank Celebrates 20th Year of Helping Businesses

Innovative Lender Provides Financing to Businesses Nationwide;Michigan-Based Bank Reaches Milestone with Nearly $850 Million in Assets; Is Among Top Performing Banks

TROY, Mich., (Oct. 4, 2016) ­­­­– Crestmark founder and CEO W. David Tull proudly announced that the company marks its 20th year in business this month. Crestmark Bank was established in October 1996 with the goal of providing small- and medium-sized businesses with a broad range of financing options not available to them from traditional banks. Tull’s vision for Crestmark was inspired by his 20-plus years in banking and finance. He knew that many businesses were unable to get the financing they needed for operations, for growth, or to pursue new opportunities, and he saw an opportunity to create a new business model. With Crestmark, Tull established a new approach to banking — a finance company within a chartered bank. This provided the stability of a chartered bank, with interest-bearing deposits, and the flexibility and broad array of financing products available from a variety of financial service companies.

In the early days, Crestmark served businesses located in Michigan; and gradually became a national lender. Crestmark grew organically through a variety of means: through referrals, through its reputation for employing knowledgeable staff, and by employing technology to create efficiencies. It also grew due to its array of funding solutions, its expertise in niche industries, and its ability to grow and strengthen its strategic acquisitions. Throughout the last 20 years, Crestmark’s executive management team sought to diversify while it expanded: geographic regions served, industries served, and products offered. Thereby, the company grew while minimizing risks related to industry-specific, product-specific, and region-specific challenges.

Crestmark, which is primarily focused on business-to-business financing, has steadily grown. Starting from a single Michigan location, it now serves businesses throughout the United States from seven offices, and provides working capital solutions, asset-based lending, accounts-receivable discount factoring, traditional factoring, and equipment financing and leasing.

SUCCESS IN THE NUMBERS

At the end of 1996, after the first 90 days of the new bank charter, Crestmark had total assets of $21 million, interest-bearing deposits of just over $10 million, and 18 employees. Today, Crestmark has nearly $850 million in total assets, $700 million in interest-bearing deposits, and nearly 300 employees.

“In our 20-year history, Crestmark has been successful because we started with a clear vision, and we’ve stayed true to it. We are proud of our track record of providing entrepreneurs and small businesses with the help and funding they need.”

Crestmark made the 2016 Inc. 5000, which ranks America’s fastest growing private companies. For its third appearance on the annual list, Crestmark ranked 58th among the fastest-growing companies in Metro-Detroit, 107th in Michigan, 239th in the financial category, and 4,638th nationally.

DISCIPLINED APPROACH: SOUND OPERATIONS, PROFITABLE GROWTH

A key strategy has been to follow a structured approach focused on control, profitability, growth – all surrounded by an appropriate culture of “we help.” Crestmark has a 5-Star Superior Rating from Bauer Financial, the nation’s leading independent bank and credit union rating and research firm.

 ACQUISITIONS, SBA DIVISION, GEOGRAPHIC REACH

Since 2001, Crestmark made several acquisitions that helped it reach new geographic markets and diversify its products. In addition, the acquisitions allowed Crestmark to strengthen its expertise in niche industries, including manufacturing, transportation, apparel/footwear, staffing, oil and gas, and equipment leasing/financing. These acquisitions provided new offices in Southeast Florida; Franklin, Tennessee; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and New York City.

In addition, Crestmark expanded west by opening an office in Los Angeles, California. It also added an SBA Division; and entered into a number of strategic relationships and joint ventures, including alternative energy finance, specialty hospital financing, and many others.

“We continue to seek new ways to add value to all stakeholders, and especially to our clients,” Tull said. “But we stick to basic blocking and tackling when it comes to operating our business. We work hard to understand each niche industry in which we operate. This helps maximize the assistance provided to our clients, and helps us minimize risk.”

A PHILOSOPHY TO HELP

Crestmark marked its 20th anniversary with the creation of a $100,000 scholarship fund to benefit students at Oakland University’s School of Business Administration, located in Rochester, Michigan. The fund will award $20,000 in scholarships annually for five years, in honor of Crestmark’s 20th year in business. This donation exemplifies Crestmark’s philosophy of “we help” by positively impacting the lives of young people in Crestmark’s community. The “we help” philosophy is an important aspect of the company, and advocates that employees make the “we help” mindset a part of each day; whether it is to help clients, to help Crestmark coworkers, or to help the communities in which they work. The Crestmark “we help” phrase was trademarked in 2012.

Twenty years after Crestmark was formed, it is one of the country’s top performing banks. Its goals are simple: help businesses, contain costs, and operate a company that is a good place for people to go to work.

Tull said, “What started as a business opportunity that had a potential five- to ten-year lifecycle has grown into a rewarding company with a very long-term perspective. This is due to the talent, hard work and dedication of a great group of people. We are excited about what the future holds.”