Founded by local community and business leaders through a lone Englewood Cliffs branch location in 2005, the bank today maintains seven additional branches in Fort Lee, Cliffside Park, Cresskill, Hackensack, West New York, Ridgewood and Holmdel.
But as the bank's client base has ballooned out to neighboring states, NJCB Chairman and CEO Frank Sorrentino III said "it makes all the sense in the world for us to serve a larger market now with a broader reach than just what you would define as North Jersey."
"I think it's just important to take the geographic connotation out of what the bank represents, so when we launch our new logo, it will include things that say how we feel about our clients — not the place we're doing business," Sorrentino said. "It used to be that you wanted to be on the best corner in town and that regulations didn't let you expand outside of your county or state, but that's all gone, and the concept of how people do banking — for the consumer and the business — has changed dramatically. We understand through this change that it doesn't matter where we are, so now we can forget about where we are."
However, Sorrentino said reaching past North Jersey doesn't mean the bank will slack on its current level of connection with personal and business customers.
"It's still about us being the place where people want to go when they're looking for ways to grow their business. Beyond banking services, customers come to us as a point of contact for other needs, like finding a good attorney or roofer or accountant," Sorrentino said. "We understand a client's business, what makes their business successful and what they are looking for, so we keep them at the top of our minds when we're talking to other clients to seek out growth opportunities for them. We're really good at shaking hands and kissing babies, but we're also really good at providing the services and resources that our customers want."
The bank's website, social media content, corporate logo and marketing materials will drop the North Jersey Community Bank name in February to make room for ConnectOne Bank, but Sorrentino said the company wants to set some space aside for its original tagline — "A Better Place to Be" — as he noted "I think it works well, and it is what we are and what we want to continue to be."
The rebranding announcement follows the bank's addition of a chief compliance officer to its formerly seven-member senior management team on Jan. 9. The chief operating officer's role also was expanded to include new technology development services with a focus on customer experience, which Sorrentino said has been a focal point for the bank since its founding.