Pacific Mercantile Turnaround Is Southern California Banking at Its Finest

February 12, 2018

Thomas M. Vertin has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Pacific Mercantile Bancorp since January 1, 2016. Mr. Vertin joined Pacific Mercantile Bank as President of the Commercial Banking Division in September 2012. Additionally, he assumed responsibility for central and bank operations, and as interim chair of the bank’s executive management committee. Mr. Vertin’s 25 years of management experience includes Executive-in-Residence at Carpenter & Company, and 18 years with Silicon Valley Bank — SVB. During his tenure with SVB, Mr. Vertin served in the positions of Chief Operating Officer, Head of California Division, Head of Sales and Service bankwide; he also lead three turnarounds: Southeast region, San Francisco Bay region, and the nationwide asset-based lending group. His responsibilities included the client service operation, product advisory sales — investments, cash management and international trade services — currency trading, SVB securities and SVB Asset Management. His sales teams were responsible for essentially all of the bank’s noninterest income — 30% of SVB revenue. Earlier in his banking career, Mr. Vertin also taught finance for eight years at San Jose State University. Prior to his career in banking, he served for three years with the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.

In this exclusive interview in the Wall Street Transcript, Thomas Vertin delivers an in depth review of his turnaround of the bank.

One point of differentiation for Pacific Mercantile is their innovative use of financial analysis for the customer.  “…What has caused us to be more effective and more efficient in client acquisition is something that we call Horizon Analytics. If you can imagine companies with $10 million to $70 million in revenue, typically, they don’t have a board of directors. One company of ours is two guys who graduated from high school with a truck and now have a $25 million trucking business. Another company was a guy that graduated from high school with a lawn mower and now has a $70 million landscaping business. These guys don’t have boards of directors. They have as advisers a lawyer and a CPA. Typically, the CPA is advising them on aggressive tax avoidance.  We have addressed a void that has been in banking now for the last 20 years, and that is the void of giving good financial counsel.”

The bank creates an interesting road map for the customer.  “…We deliver something called Horizon Analytics, which is a book with two chapters. The first chapter compares the company and their financials with their peers. This is often information that most of these guys haven’t seen in the past, and we can get really specific because we put together a database that’s quite clever. We can get really specific regarding region and size. That’s chapter one of Horizon Analytics, and that really interests the companies that we are dealing with.”

And the bank goes above and beyond that analysis.  “Chapter two is about what they aspire to. In the case of the trucking company or the case of a distributor, they may aspire to sell that company someday. If, for example, a client were to say, “I’d like to sell my company for $10 million.” We might respond with, based upon our analysis of your company today and the multiples in your industry, we think your company is probably worth around $4 million, and here’s the roadmap to get you to $20 million.”

To get the full plan of action for delivering real returns in 2018 to investors in Pacific Mercantile, read the full interview in the Wall Street Transcript,