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Christopher "Kit" Menkin is of editor (, an internet trade publication for the finance/leasing industry. He has 46 years experience in the finance/leasing industry as well as being a founder of a commercial regional bank and serving on several company... More
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  • Umpqua Brings Commerce National, FinPac, Sterling Together----May Become Largest Leasing "Third Party Origination" Operation 0 comments
    Sep 26, 2013 1:56 PM

    by Christopher Menkin

    In April, Sterling Financial, Spokane, Washington, purchased Commerce National Bank, Newport Beach, California, a $300 million bank with an active leasing department, now headed by Steve Tidland along with leasing veteran Steve Reid. Recently Leasing veteran Bob Robichaud retired as vice-president Leasing Relations. The leasing company had been primarily focusing on California business, but since the purchase has reportedly expanded somewhat into the mid-west.

    "Sterling Financial Corporation of Spokane, Washington is the bank holding company for Sterling Savings Bank*, a state chartered and federally insured commercial bank, that operates under the trade names of Sterling Bank and in California as Sonoma Bank.

    "Sterling Bank and Sonoma Bank serve more than 54,000 small and medium-sized businesses and more than 280,000 retail accounts throughout the Pacific Northwest in a network of branches that span from northern California to the Canadian border."

    In early September, Umpqua Holdings announced it had agreed to buy private-equity backed Sterling Financial Corp (STSA.O) in a $2 billion cash-and-stock. The combined company will operate under the Umpqua brand and continue to be led by Umpqua President and Chief Executive Ray Davis. Sterling president and CEO Greg Seibly will join Umpqua Bank as co-president, with Umpqua Bank co-president Cort O'Haver serving in the same capacity.

    Paul Dini, Sr. VP

    It appears the banks acquired by Sterling, Sonoma and Borrego have changed their name to Argent effective October 1st, with Commercial National to follow the name change in early November. The leasing division will be reporting to Paul Dini, senior vice president-regional director at Sterling Bank out of Washington.

    In Umpqua President/CEO Ray Davis' transcript in Seeking Alpha, he alludes that the bank branches will be serviced in a manner by the purchase of Financial Pacific. He also muses that perhaps that is also changing with the purchases of Sterling with its own leasing department, and that of Commerce National Bank.

    Umpqua Holdings closed its purchase of Financial Pacific Leasing, Federal Way, Washington on July 1st, 2013. Ray Davis, President/CEO announced "FinPac is a premier equipment leasing company in the country."

    Ray Davis

    "We couldn't be more pleased with this new addition, which is led by an extremely knowledgeable team of professionals."

    Paul Menzel, CLP
    President Financial Pacific

    It appears in the selling of Financial Pacific, its president Paul Menzel, CLP, was active in choosing who the buyer would be and saw the best opportunity for FinPac and its employees to join up with Umpqua, which he considers an "entrepreneurial" community bank headquartered in the Pacific Northwest.

    He told Leasing News that he saw the opportunity to grow the "third party originations" by including "A" paper as well as continuing "B" and "C". Financial Pacific has already made the move to $100,000 with competitive rates to attract more established companies; in fact, increasing their business 30% in the first two months.

    He sees Sterling's Commerce National Bank equipment leasing group dovetailing perfectly in the financial statement side of the middle-market, keeping the Financial Pacific platform and credit processing to the small business "app only," and maintaining its third party origination program, which is the core strength they are also bringing to the bank. He also envisions that the Umpqua stores will have access to the leasing product and deliver it to the retail customer in real time with a contingent approval, theoretically in minutes.

    Menzel sees a model similar to Bank of the West, though maintaining and growing FinPac's core TPO channel strength. Bank of the West has built their equipment finance group by emphasizing direct vendor, basically through Trinity and the Portland servicing operation, as well as middle market transactions directly through the branch channel.

    Seeking Alpha Transcript:

    The Sale of Financial Pacific Leasing
    to Umpqua Holdings Corporation

    Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

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