That conversation led to bringing the owner and a strategic partner together. The buyer, a larger corporation, had been seeking a strategic business purchase to expand its product base and footprint. “I’m happy to say, that business is now thriving, with its regional market share growing for the purchase partner,” said Brown. “The owner admits that asking for advice from a trusted advisor, trusting the referrals to be the right ones, and taking the leap to use that advice was the best thing he ever did.”

A business/trusted advisor relationship often develops over time, after nurturing a long term relationship with their business banker partner, or trusted advisor. Sometimes, it comes spontaneously when the banker and business owner is discussing an item that brings about a series of discussions, resulting in an entirely different need than originally thought. It can develop with further diligence, getting all parties involved on both sides, and discussing issues in an open, communicative manner.

“I see this occurring when a large loan request is being considered, and the structuring of that credit facility requires input from the company’s CPA, attorney, and consultant,” said Brown. “Occasionally, it requires letting your banking partner work through their internal organization, discussing the request with his or her senior management to achieve ‘buy in’ before moving forward on a request.”

Brown said becoming a trusted advisor comes with knowing and anticipating any hurdles, having a sense of urgency, and understanding your clients. It comes with respect and dignity between all parties. It comes with knowing your business banker is—and should be—your trusted advisor.

Possessing over 30 years of experience, Karen Brown, Commercial Team Leader, is responsible for overseeing a team of relationship managers, while servicing her individual client portfolio and developing new business.

KAREN BROWN SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT COMMERCIAL TEAM LEADER (818) 226-3233 KAREN.BROWN@FBOL.COM FIRSTBANKS.COM

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