The Secret to ConnectOne Bancorp's Success

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Nov. 26 (Bloomberg) -- ConnectOne Bancorp CEO Frank Sorrentino discusses the future of the banking industry with Pimm Fox on Bloomberg Television's "Taking Stock." (Source: Bloomberg)


Good to have you with us.

We were talking a second ago -- if i talk to you eight or nine years ago and told you you would be the chief executive of connectone bancorp, you would say what are you talking about?

How did you get to be the chief executive?

I was a fourth-generation builder and construction manager.

Being in that business i always had to deal with banks.

We found ourselves in a situation in 2004 and two thousand five for the vast majority of community banks in our area were acquired out of existence.

Here we are sitting in one of the most affluent communities in america with no community bank.

I said we will start a bank.

The north community bank?

Eight short years later, we are approaching 1.2 the lien dollars in assets.

$12 million to $1.2 billion?

And the banking industry has not been the greatest, right?

How did you do it?

, -- simple, good customer service.

Taking care of our customers.

Just great customer service.

We think of ourselves is not a bank, but a customer service organization.

You were telling me a story that when you sit around at the conference table, you make decisions, there is always an empty chair and it's not for elijah.

Who is it for?

It's an empty chair for our clients.

We always ask, everything we do at connectone bancorp, what would our clients say if they heard us making this decision?

It does not matter if it is a board meeting, management meeting, client resignation.

What with the client say?

We tried to run our business like that.

Think about the client first.

What would they expect?

So a potential customer comes in to connectone bancorp now and says, you know, i'm thinking of going into the building industry or taking out a bigger loan on my housing company.

What information would you share with them?

Often it has very little to do with the banking and the banking products.

Often it is more to do, let's talk about your business.

Does this make sense?

It's more trying to be a trusted advisor for that person and helping them work through whatever situation they may have and a lot less about the bank recs and services.

Those things are almost like commodity.

-- commodities.

You can go to any bank and get what we offer.

But you have an experience and the building industry.

If someone tells you one story, you can say, no, this will not work.

Or on the other hand you could really benefit from something like this.

Clearly we are there to help those clients and yes, we will look at it and say, we agree with what you are doing, don't agree, and help them formulate their plan.

How his business doing?

We think business is very good.

The portfolio has been growing in excess of 20% for the last number of years.

I like the economy where it is today with low interest rates, low prices to go in, still reasonable prices for contract services.

This is a wonderful time whether it is development, construction, additions, people buying new homes, business expansions.

All of those things.

It is a great time.


You are going to be expanding beyond that range?

We already serve five or six counties, maybe not in the physical sense.

We have branches and three.

It is much different than it was even eight short weeks it -- years ago.

It took us eight years with eight branches to get to that one point billion and change.

Why have physical branches anyway?

What does that do?

Between the internet, mobile banking, all the products online, the vast majority are business services and we do cater to his nose.

They do not use the physical channel.

No one goes into a branch to do their business.

They are doing it from their cell phone, from their desk top.

We are seeing video chatting start to occur and video tellers will start to take over in this industry.

I think you are going to see, you are seeing for the first time in u.s. history the number of bank ranches is actually in decline.

Is it possible to get frank sorrentino on the other side of a social media conversation these days?


What do you do?

I'm on twitter, the bank is on twitter.

We are on facebook.


What is that?

Just @google me, @connectonebank.

During hurricane sandy, one of the ways we could communicate

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


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