What business lines and geography do you serve in the L.A. area?
I lead the syndication division of Bank of the West’s commercial banking group, raising capital by coordinating syndicated deals to help fuel growing businesses in Los Angeles and across the United States.
How much time do you spend traveling for the job, including visiting branch offices and seeing clients?
I meet with clients regularly and spend more than 50 percent of my waking hours on the road. Meeting with entrepreneurs, business owners and management teams in person helps us better understand their business and find the best solutions to help them grow. There is a real pride that comes from that.
What’s something about the L.A. business community you didn’t realize before taking this job?
How large and diverse the economy is. When I moved here, I was instantly impressed by the tremendous amount of talent based here. Once people move to Los Angeles, they don’t seem to be in a hurry to leave – the high energy, culture and the diversity of businesses here often mean it’s a one-way ticket. That’s exactly what happened with me.
How do you differentiate your bank from both locally based and other national banks with a presence in this city?
We have been in Los Angeles a long time and know this market well, but we also leverage the global resources and reach of our parent company, BNP Paribas, to arrange the deal a business requires regardless of its size.
What’s the best part about working for a big bank rather than a smaller one?
Our capabilities, including the breadth of our footprint, and the international resources and expertise we’re able to bring to our clients. We are also lucky to work with a truly diverse group of businesses every day. Our clients span an incredible range of industries – I can go from wine to real estate to drones within a few hours.
And the worst part?
One of the most challenging parts of working for a global organization is managing different time zones to build bonds with colleagues around the globe.
What’s an area of your business you’d like to grow?
As we continue to grow our underwriting business, we are also focused on strengthening our specialty areas in commercial coverage such as real estate, agribusiness and technology. In addition, we are growing our asset-based lending business.
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?
At Bank of the West we are keenly focused on credit quality. By really knowing our clients and their industries, we help see them through the challenges they face across economic cycles. We are constantly trying to forecast and understand how systemic events will affect them, and are focused on helping them stay informed and prepared.
What’s the best advice you ever got?
Always ask good questions. Asking questions gives you answers, perspective and knowledge. It applies to everything, whether you’re at an event or party, having a discussion with a colleague or meeting with a client. If you’re not asking probing, interesting questions, you’re probably missing something.
What’s your favorite restaurant for business meetings?
There’s a wealth of choice given the renaissance happening downtown. I recently tried Church & State, which was fantastic.
Lakers, Clippers or neither?
Taking my son, Jackson, to a Kings game.
Ted Dunn, 49
Title: Executive Vice President, Head of the Syndication Division
Bank: Bank of the West
Rank, Local Deposit Market Share: 9, 2.7 percent
Residence: Rancho Palos Verdes
Family: Lives with wife, Ann, and daughter, Sara, 5, and son, Jackson, 7.
Activities: Fly-fishing, golf, reading and spending time with his children
Years in L.A. Area: 21
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