KeyBank’s new Hudson Valley/Metro NY market president, David W. Lewing, said the bank is very bullish on lending into the current economic environment. He told the Business Journal that the knowledge KeyBank personnel bring to the table “allows us to be, perhaps, a little more, call it ‘understanding and supportive’ of business credit and lending requests.”
Lewing recently moved into the post from a middle market team leader position, succeeding Joseph F. Markey who was promoted to regional sales manager for KeyBank’s east region.
Lewing joined KeyBank in 2014 as an enterprise banker. In 2017, he assumed the role of middle market team leader. He previously had been with Wachovia Securities, Wells Fargo Bank, Toronto Dominion Securities and Chemical Bank.
“The market president basically drives the collaboration and is responsible for community investment across all of our business segments doing business in this market,” Lewing said. “Those segments would consist of the commercial banking group, the business banking group, the private bank and the consumer and retail bank including the branches. My direct responsibility is focused on the middle market business. I’m essentially the face of the bank for those businesses in the Hudson Valley market.”
Although he works at the bank’s regional offices in Tarrytown and New York City, Lewing spends a lot of time on the road. “I will travel throughout our market footprint, which will go as far north as Poughkeepsie and includes Fairfield County and then into New York City,” he said.
And, from what he’s seen firsthand, he believes the environment is favorable for economic growth. “There are many companies and individually owned businesses that are investing in their own businesses rather than managing for cash flow, meaning they are cautiously optimistic about a continued favorable environment for growth. I would call it basically a stable environment and favorable for businesses.”
KeyBank is the primary subsidiary of KeyCorp, based in Cleveland. KeyBank reported to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation that as of Dec. 31, 2018, its year-to-date net income was $2.04 billion and total assets were $137.9 billion with domestic deposits at $110 billion. “In terms of New York state as a whole, we have loan commitments in excess of $25 billion and deposits in excess of $30 billion,” Lewing said.
The bank is lending across all segments and tends to be very active in chemicals, food, health care and business service companies, he said.
“KeyBank has been building client relationships in the Hudson Valley one at a time since its inception in Albany 190 years ago, so we are a relationship bank that has all the products and services of a larger bank, the ‘trillionaires’ as we call them.”
Lewing said that part of the bank’s growth strategy is based on acquiring technology, not only to use in the bank’s operations, but also as investment vehicles. He pointed to an alliance with AvidXchange, a financial technology company which automates accounts-payable operations, and the acquisition of HelloWallet, which invites people to “say hello to an easier way to manage your money – and reach your goals.”
“We just closed on a major acquisition of a company called Laurel Road. Laurel Road is a technology company that is basically an online provider of student lending.” Lewing said it has generated about $4 billion in student loans.
“We are making these types of investments in lieu of simply investing in another commercial banking business that simply expands our footprint. We’re focused on the footprint that we currently have and then leveraging technology to build a more national presence,” Lewing told the Business Journal.
Lewing said that although the banking environment in the Hudson Valley and New York metro area is highly competitive, KeyBank is competing successfully.
“Our approach to banking is that we listen first and then we ask questions. We try to understand both the individual retail client and commercial client needs, and then we go back and consider all of the products and services we have to offer which will be the right ones to help the client achieve their objectives and goals.”