Breaking The Mold (Ep.23) Bank United Forges Ahead Using Technology With A Personal Touch

Posted by Casandra Properties on Friday, December 4th, 2020 at 10:03am.

Episode 23: Breaking The Mold: Bank United Forges Ahead Using Technology w/ A Personal Touch

CEO James Prendamano welcomes and sits down withBank United’s Vice President of Commercial Private Banking Fulton Marshall & the Senior VP of Commercial Banking Private Team, Megan Hallinan during this episode of the Casandra Properties Podcast. 


They are two of Bank United’s finest professionals: Megan Hallinan and Fulton Marshall. Both seasoned professionals have worked in the banking industry for 15 years each. They do things differently. And these are the people you want behind you during times that are an anomaly right now, emphasizes James Prendamano.



What Makes Bank United So Different?


Megan Hallinan joined Bank United in 2015. Prior to that, she was an executive at both North Fork Bank and Capital One. So for people who don’t know, explains Ms. Hallinan, Bank United was started by the old CEO of North Fork Bank. So a lot of the bankers and the relationship managers that we have here come from that prior institution. 


While Bank United may not sound like a household name, we’ve really hit the market hard especially in Real Estate over the last seven years. And, a lot of it is due to the things that Marshall and I specialize in.


Megan Hallinan explains – Marshall and I pick things that we are really good at. You know, Bank United doesn’t want to be everything to everyone. Rather, we’d rather pick our niche businesses and do really well with that. We’re investing in technology and we’re investing in people – over branches.


“So, you’re not going to see Bank United Branches on every corner, but we are going to bring the bank to you. Especially out on Staten Island, where we may not have a brick and mortar location, we wrap our arms around Staten Island and offer ‘white glove’ commercial banking services, from – deposits – to loans – to cash management, obviously, PPP was a great time for us to shine and help people, says Hallinan.


In addition, adding to what James Prendamano said earlier, Megan Hallinan says, “It is so important during these especially difficult times – that is indeed when it matters most – when people really need it.”


In times like these, it’s not just about being a banker, it’s more about being a consultant. And that is something Marshall Fulton has really done well with, says Megan Hallinan. “Having other contacts in the market and being able to help in other ways besides banking – and give advice and help people wherever possible.”





Was this always part of the fabric of Bank United – investing in human capital over ‘brick and mortar’? asks James Prendamano.


Absolutely, says Megan Hallinan. John Kanas bought Bank United in 2009; they went public in 2010. So when we came back to New York, we just saw the future of banking and decided to invest in people and technology, and these niche businesses – And it really has paid off. We’ve grown a huge portfolio, especially in the real estate market over the last seven years. Having small teams of relationship managers and then having the technology behind them – has been essential to our growth. 


Megan Hallinan Sums Up How Bank United Does It So Well . . .


“We have the technology of the bigger banks, but the relationship management of the smaller banks.”


James notes that’s incredibly interesting, as well as incredibly frustrating to know. CEO James Prendamano notes how he had published an article about the Decentralization of Real Estate.


We thought to ourselves – it wasn’t really about having the brick and mortar location, it was about having the people, the connections, the relationships, and of course, the technology. 


With that, James Prendamano speaks on the nature of Marshall Fulton:


CEO Prendamano emphatically says – “Marshall connects with people; he invests in people honestly like no one I have ever seen in the banking industry in my life, and there was an immediate connection. He continues to connect dots for me in such a meaningful way and continues to do so that it can’t even be quantified.”


What Bank United Has Accomplished


James Prendamano emphasizes how Bank United has successfully done over 4,000 notes and just shy of $1 Billion dollars in PPP – which is just truly remarkable. 


Much like Casandra Properties, Bank United also provides “White-glove service.”CAPEX LINK? It’s not just about the banking. It’s about being a consultant, a liaison – a connector of relationships, asserts Ms. Hallinan. 


Marshall Fulton admits he’s always looked at the banking industry in a different way than most. You know, bankers are a dime a dozen. Every single one of our business cards says the same thing ‘Vice President’ and ‘Relationship Manager.’ Everyone says it’s about relationships, but I think – not a lot of people actually follow up on that. They just say that and don’t do it. 


“I try to help my clients outside of banking. Right now – during Covid – under lockdown and quarantine – it’s more important than ever. Everyone is still sort of shell shocked. How long is this going to take? How long is this going to go on?,” says Marshall Fulton.


For seven or eights years as a lender, I would say – “No. I can’t help you. But I know someone who can.” – says Marshall Fulton. He proudly boasts the Bank United has an 800 number, I literally don’t know what it is – people get in touch with us directly. 


What’s going on with the state of PPP and forgiveness?


James Prendamano asks – what’s going on with the state of things. We cannot get any clear direction.


You need to speak with your tax accountant. You need to work closely with your tax advisor,” adds Megan Hallinan.

On Coronavirus . . .


James Prendamano asserts that small business on Staten Island could not possibly sustain another Covid lockdown – and how it would impact the small businesses here already in dire situations. 


Casandra Properties CEO Prendamano goes on to say -- We cannot endure a second shutdown without any help. It’s beyond our control, and it’s beyond frustrating . . . .


James Prendamano also asks – when did the banks make what seems to be a conscious effort to move away from the personalization business?


According to the seasoned Megan Hallinan, the problem is two-fold. Want to hear why?

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