Building a Better Business

NB|AZ’s Corporate Banking focuses on helping larger companies with complex banking needs

Kevin Cooney, a 14-year veteran at National Bank of Arizona, has enjoyed his time in Corporate Banking since helping to establish the department in 2011. While he has a risk-averse approach, Cooney is enthralled by the entrepreneurial attitude of local business owners and the opportunity to help them grow and thrive.

Cooney, a relationship manager and the vice president of Corporate Banking, had been on the real estate team at NB|AZ until the Great Recession happened. He then transitioned to Corporate Banking, and had an unexpected learning curve.

“I spent nearly two years learning what it takes to develop and retain relationships with the owners of large and mid-cap Arizona businesses,” he says. “One of the first transactions I completed was lending money to a major airline and that helped me learn about the aviation sector.”

Since then, he has gained considerable knowledge and is viewed as a subject matter expertise about the aviation and aerospace industry, although he remains a generalist, with experience lending to a variety of industries.

“My clients depend on me to understand their vision, to be knowledgeable and creative, and to deliver on promises,” says Cooney.

He believes corporate banking has similarities to traditional business banking, but it focuses on larger businesses. “We try to find ways to do business with these larger companies, including financing leveraged buyouts of businesses by investors. I consider all of the services of NB|AZ to be at my disposal when structuring a banking relationship for a client,” he says, adding that typical services include equipment leasing, treasury management and foreign exchange.

The process of identifying and meeting a company’s needs involves taking “a deep dive into the business’s financials and projections, along with a tour of the production space or sales locations,” Cooney says. “From there, we can identify working capital and growth capital needs and structure senior debt (debt that takes priority over other unsecured or other debt owed).”

Cooney also mentioned that banks are making technological strides in areas that customers may not be aware. “For example, we have software packages that simplify payment processes and might save the customer time and money,” he explains. “The more we know about a business, the more valuable we can be as a resource.”

Relationships, Cooney emphasized, matter. “Face-to-face relationship development has value. Many business owners have begun relying more on their accountant or attorney for financial guidance. So, a seasoned banker should be a great resource for businesses. Plus, we don’t bill hourly,” he says with a smile.


Story: Debra Gelbart

Photo: Mark Lipczynski

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