Veteran Wells Fargo banker Lucia DiNapoli Gibbons has been promoted to a newly created position as leader of the East Coast Business Banking segment, with the goal of doing more lending and financial services business with firms in the $2 million to $20 million-revenue segment from Connecticut to Florida.
Gibbons, who lives in Jersey City, had been northern New Jersey regional president and will remain in New Jersey at the Wells Fargo regional offices in Summit.
Gibbons said Wells Fargo created her new job because the bank sees an opportunity to achieve double-digit revenue growth in the $2 million to $20 million segment on the East Coast.
Gibbons will report to Laura Schulte, Wells Fargo Eastern Regional Banking president. Gibbons said Schulte, "created this position because she sees a significant amount of opportunity. Businesses are recovering, they are more optimistic, so we see a tremendous opportunity to significantly accelerate our growth" by focusing on the $2 million to $20 million market across the East Coast.
In New Jersey, Wells Fargo has more than 4,000 Business Banking clients, which are firms in the $2 to $20 million range. Smaller firms are served via the Wells Fargo branches while firms larger than $20 million are served by the bank's commercial banking group.
Small business under $20 million are a huge market in New Jersey and along the East Coast, Gibbons said, and a recent survey by the bank found small businesses to be more optimistic.
"We have grown our loans this year and I expect that as businesses are getting more optimistic about the future they will start to make more investments in their businesses," Gibbons said. "So we will do equipment financing, lines of credit, real estate purchases: I expect we will see lending accelerate."
Gibbons said "We are going to be very focused on acquiring new customers – and then we will also cross-sell very deeply to both new and existing customers."
Along with loans, Wells Fargo offers a variety of services to businesses including cash management, merchant services and insurance.
For the past five years Gibbons has overseen the Wells Fargo retail branches in northern New Jersey and Rockland County, N.Y., but has spent most of her 27 year banking career in business banking. "So this is getting me back to my roots. I really enjoy helping businesses succeed."
Gibbons will oversee a staff of more than 1,300 on the East Coast.
Reporting to her locally is John Cole, the business banking division manager for New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, also based in Summit.
Wells Fargo said it will search for a new Northern New Jersey region president.
Gibbons serves on the boards of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Teach for America, Newark Alliance and Wells Fargo Regional Foundation. She is also a member of the Corporate Advisory Council for the Boys and Girls Clubs of New Jersey and the Rutgers Newark College of Arts & Sciences Advisory Council.
She is a graduate of the Rutgers Newark College of Arts and Sciences and has an MBA from the Leonard Stern School of Business at New York University.
According to Wells Fargo, nationwide the bank services one in 10 U.S. small businesses under $20 million in revenue.