What business lines and geography do you serve in the L.A. area?
I directly oversee the middle-market team throughout greater Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties.
How much time do you spend traveling for the job, including visiting branch offices and seeing clients?
About half the time.
What’s something about the L.A. business community you didn’t realize before taking this job?
When I moved here from Michigan, I expected the business community to be dominated by larger companies and with a concentration around the entertainment industry. I was surprised by the number of different industries and types of small and medium-size family-owned businesses here.
How do you differentiate your bank from both locally based and other national banks with a presence in this city?
We are a 165-year old institution that grew up in Detroit – the most industrial and cyclical economy in the country. We believe we have a unique perspective, knowledge base and culture around working with our business customers to help them grow during good times and help them navigate through the difficult economic cycles.
What’s the best part about working for a big bank rather than a smaller one?
The best part is we don’t consider ourselves a big bank or act like one. We have a flat organization structure and a very high level of tenure and knowledge throughout the bank. We have the resources of a large organization, but are also nimble and can quickly create solutions tailored to each customer’s needs.
And the worst part?
I wouldn’t say there is a worst part.
What’s an area of your business you’d like to grow?
All of them.
It’s been more than six years since the financial crisis hit. How well do you think your industry has learned the pertinent lessons from that catastrophe? What are those lessons?
California has been so infrequently hit with downturns that it was the first one for many relationship managers and credit officers in this market. There is no substitute for that experience and the knowledge base will enable those people to be better prepared the next time we have a downturn. I do believe the industry and its regulators can agree on the need for a larger capital base in banking, which is happening and is an important lesson learned that will matter in future downturns.
What’s the best advice you ever got?
The first year I was a relationship manager in banking, my group manager walked by my desk and saw me working on a complicated new loan application. He sat down and without really saying anything started methodically organizing the papers I had scattered around my office into a coherent and organized file. His unspoken advice was to get organized and have a plan before you get started.
What’s your favorite restaurant for business meetings?
Trattoria 25 in Vernon. Always full of business owners.
Lakers, Clippers or neither?
Mike Dokmanovich, 51
Title: President, Los Angeles and Orange counties
Bank: Comerica Bank
Rank, Local Deposit Market Share: 11, 1.7 percent
Residence: Redondo Beach
Family: Married for 19 years with 11-year-old twins and a 7-year-old.
Activities: Running, hiking, golf
Years in L.A. Area: 24
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