Robert Albertson Featured Speaker at Chapter’s February Dinner Meeting
Sandler O’Neill Chief Strategist Provides Keen Outlook on Economy

Robert Albertson, Principal and Chief Economic Strategist at Sandler O’Neill + Partners, L.P. was the featured speaker at the Chapter’s February Dinner Meeting. The event was held at the Stony Hill Inn in Hackensack, N.J. on Wednesday, February 18, 2015. Robert presented key financial strategies as well as a very enlightening outlook on the economy for 2015 and beyond. Salvatore Zerilli and Raji Sathappan from The Mercadien Group presented a very timely perspective on the principles of Vendor Management during the afternoon mini-session. Members and guests then enjoyed a relaxing cocktail hour before sitting down to a full course dinner including entrees of baked chicken or tropical salmon.

Mr. Albertson reviewed the recent downtrends in domestic GDP growth and domestic consumer spending since the recession in 2009 as compared to much stronger growth during the decades prior to the recession. He noted how the decline in consumer spending has been virtually replaced by the growth of  post-rescession business spending. He strongly emphasized the importance of business banking as a growth strategy for community banks. Robert stated that “Business banking is it!” … “If you don’t have it – get it! The costs are worthwhile”. He also explained how the rate of increase in commercial real estate loan production at domestically chartered banks has risen dramatically over the past 24 months far exceeding the rate of increase of residential mortgage production.

Robert Albertson, Sandler O'Neill + Partners, L.P. presented a Financials Strategy  for community banks at the February Dinner Meeting.
Chapter Past President Robert Currie (l.) closely follows the dinner presentation along with fellow Chapter Members.

Robert showed how the significant increase in non-bank credit over the past seven years has resulted in banks now owning only 25% of the total outstanding domestic loan volume. He pointed out that home prices as a percent of the borrower’s income spiked from 2000-2009, but then returned to normal levels following the recession. Robert expects that the bank consolidation trend will continue favoring institutions in the $1 billion to $50 billion asset size range. Banks under $1 billion will continue to rapidly lose market share. He expects that the “super-regionals” will dominate growth in the near term. Robert concluded by answering a number of challenging questions from the Membership in attendance.

Vendor Management was the topic of the afternoon Mini-Session and was presented by Salvatore Zerilli, Principal and Raji Sathappan, Director of the Mercadien Group. The speakers provided an excellent overview of the methods and procedures that financial managers should consider to effectively manage an institution’s relationships with vendors, independent contractors and other professionals that provide services to the bank. The presentation included recommendations for the vendor selection process, reviewing and approving proposals and carefully monitoring the progress of contracted services.

Topics and Speakers

Financials Strategy

Robert Albertson Photo
Robert Albertson
Principal & Chief Strategist
Sandler O'Neill + Partners, L.P.

Slide Presentation

Vendor Management

Salvatore Zerilli Photo
Salvatore Zerilli
The Mercadien Group

Chapter Vice President Brian McCourt introduced dinner speaker Robert Albertson.
Chapter Past President Cindi Rand performed the invocation prior to the full course dinner.
Chapter Members closely follow the dinner presentation by Robert Albertson.
Salvatore Zerilli from The Mercadien Group presented Vendor Management at the February Mini-Session. (pictured at the dinner presentation).