December 13, 2018
By Bob Coleman
Editor, Coleman Movers and Shakers
Coleman Movers & Shakers — Rocco Perate Moves SBA Lending Team to Meridian Bank
Adapted from Philadelphia Business Journal
In the interest of keeping his team together and under the direction of a commercial lending department, Pennsylvania-based Beneficial Bank’s director of SBA lending Rocco Perate has decided to move to Meridian Bank rather than join WSFS Bank.
WSFS agreed to buy Beneficial for $1.5 billion in August and the deal is set to close early next year. Perate is considered one of the deans of the local SBA lending community. Since joining Beneficial in 2014, his team went from zero SBA loans to a portfolio of 200 plus loans for over $100 million originated and contributed just under $2 million to the bank’s financial bottom line.
Meridian CEO Chris Annas said he has known Perate for the better part of 25 years and contacted him after the WSFS-Beneficial deal was announced to see if he would be interested in making a move.
“Rocco is a business developer extraordinaire,” Annas said. “He has great referral sources. We do a little bit of SBA lending but nothing like what his team does. We really like adding the business.”
Meridian is leasing about 4,000 square feet of space for its new SBA team on the seventh floor of 1760 Market, where it opened its first retail branch in Philadelphia last year. Annas said renovations should be completed some time in the first quarter. Until then, the team will work out of Meridian’s Malvern headquarters.
Based on the numbers Perate’s team produced during their time at Beneficial, Annas said he expected them to generate $20 million in loan volume a year.
“But we didn’t do this for the instant benefit,” Annas said. “This was something where we were thinking two or three years down the road. There will definitely be a bigger payoff then.”
Merdian has held off on crossing the $1 billion asset barrier this year to save itself from enhanced regulatory oversight and audits for another year.
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Southeastern Small Business Lenders Conference 2019, March 13, 2019, Asheville
America West Small Business Lending Summit 2019, June 11, 2019, Rancho Mirage Registration Opens November 5
America East Small Business Lending Conference 2019, August 14, 2019, Mashantucket
Music City Small Business Lenders Conference, August 28-29, 2019, Nashville
FLAGGL Small Business Lenders Conference, September 18, 2019, Orlando
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