How banks are strategizing to cater to middle market clients

Margaret Callihan President & CEO – SunTrust Bank South Florida

What types of businesses are expanding the types of services that South Florida banks offer in the area?

South Florida is comprised of many different businesses and at SunTrust, we focus on delivering our purpose of Lighting the Way to Financial Well-Being to meet all of their unique needs. In this year’s SunTrust Business Pulse Survey, we found that four out of five businesses across the U.S. are preparing for growth. They are planning to stimulate growth primarily by introducing new products or services and some anticipate M&A. We are seeing that trend not only nationally but in South Florida as well.

The entrepreneurial climate in South Florida has nurtured a variety of industries from multinational companies to local businesses. Some of the industries include information technology, life sciences, health care and trade and logistics due to our strategic location for serving the Americas. Moreover, businesses of every size are looking for access to capital and new and innovative exit strategies. As the financial needs in our community have become more complex and specific, specialized services have become more necessary than ever before in the market. Consequently, SunTrust has deployed a robust specialty strategy.

How does having investment-banking services accessible to the middle market impact South Florida?

The economy has changed significantly in recent years, becoming more global and less tied to specific markets. Today, a company headquartered in Miami can do business all over the world without ever having to open additional locations, giving business owners the ability to continue building and growing from Miami. In time, owners may seek to expand their business through acquisitions, sell their business or have a need to raise capital to undertake an expansion of facilities. Much of the business growth in our region can be found in the middle market. Our team of bankers has the ability to leverage the full suite of the investment banking capabilities of SunTrust Robinson Humphrey to better serve these needs when local companies decide it’s the right time to make those moves.

How has the influx of foreign investors and high-net-worth individuals into Miami-Dade County positively affected the economy in terms of local wealth?

What’s exciting is that so much of the wealth we see today is being generated locally, which is different from the historical trend of wealth being retired here. We also continue to benefit from foreign direct investment, as well as organic growth from local business and additional investments into new industries. All of these factors are contributing to the economy’s diversification. It bodes well for the health of a local economy.