By: Yolanda Rivas
2 min read January 2020 — Mergers and acquisitions are a trend in the banking industry. A little over a year after Seacoast Bank expanded its presence in the Central Florida area, through the acquisition of First Green Bank, Julie Kleffel, executive vice president and community banking executive at Seacoast Bank, spoke with Invest: about the impact of the merger.
What were some highlights for Seacoast Bank in Orlando over the last 12 to 18 months?
The most exciting highlight we had in the Orlando market was the acquisition of First Green Bank, which added significant customers and team members to our Orlando group, as well as the company at large. But the primary focus was in the Orlando metropolitan statistical area (MSA). As a result of that acquisition, as well as our organic growth strategy, Seacoast is now the No. 1 Florida-based company in the Orlando MSA by way of deposits.
Highlight No. 2 is that this is the fastest-growing market among all the MSAs that Seacoast serves across the diverse state of Florida. The dynamic growth and diversification of the Orlando economy has been beneficial to the bank’s overall growth, which has also improved our ability to invest in our community. Seacoast also was recently named by Forbes 100 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the world as measured by growth in revenues, profits, and stock return. We are very proud of that because it is not just about growth but about profitable growth that we’re returning to shareholders.
How do you plan to incorporate First Green’s environmental initiatives into Seacoast?
Seacoast has been very focused on its promise to invest in you and your community, and this initiative aligns with that purpose. Probably, the biggest pillar is offering financing to consumers and businesses to instal solar panels to provide sustainable energy. Because we’re a bigger institution now, we were able to extend the solar panel loan program and make it easier for customers. We were able to give them access to capital faster by using some of our technology platforms. As well, First Green offered charging stations for hybrid and electric vehicles at their branch locations. We have expanded this program and are working now with some local partners to continue expanding it. The response has been very positive, and we look forward to doing the same across the state. We have also started recycling at our Orlando branches by partnering with local municipalities.
To learn more about our interviewee, visit:
Seacoast Bank: https://www.seacoastbank.com/