Monthly Archives: October 2016

Aida Baboudjian Celebrates 30 Years with Grandpoint

baboudjian_aidaWe have quite a milestone to celebrate this month. Grandpoint Bank relationship manager and vice president Aida Baboudjian is celebrating her 30-year anniversary with us!

She is a motivated and dedicated professional who believes in pushing herself to be the best commercial lender and information source for her clients. She always demonstrates great respect for her clients and co-workers.

Her first interview, in 1986 with our predecessor bank, Gilmore Bank, lasted about 45 minutes, with 40 of those minutes spent discussing Armenian food. There was obviously an immediate connection, and she has proven to be part of our recipe for success over the span of three decades.

Interacting with a diverse array of clients and co-workers is something Aida cites as a driving factor for why she has remained with our bank for 30 years, since joining as a credit checker. Originally from Armenia, she has put her tri-lingual skills to work (she also speaks Russian), especially with the Russian business community near our office on Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles’ Mid-Wilshire community, where Aida works.

With the iconic Farmers Market nearby, Aida also works with an array of shop and restaurant owners from the market. “I love the cultural diversity that surrounds me,” says Aida. “My clients and coworkers have come from so many different places.”

Aida originally came to the U.S. after meeting her husband while attending State Engineering University of Armenia, where she earned a master’s degree in Engineering.

She thought her first job state-side would be in computer programming, which she studied at the Computer Learning Center in Los Angeles. A friend turned her onto a job opening at a bank instead. The rest is history, and Aida says, “I never looked back.”

The secret to finding a place you are content to work for 30 years? Aida feels like she’s an important part of the Grandpoint organization and that has made a tremendous difference to her.

“My boss and the management team here really care about me and trust me,” she said. “I always feel comfortable approaching anyone at our bank with my questions and ideas.”

She also appreciates the challenges she’s able to tackle for her clients. “Sometimes the challenge helps you to focus and get things done,” she said.

Happy 30th anniversary, Aida!

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Introducing Our New Multifamily Lending Division

kim-karen-croppedWe’re happy to announce that we have expanded our service offerings once again.

Multifamily properties represent an important part of the housing market, especially as cities become denser and land constrained. Grandpoint Bank and its divisions, Bank of Tucson, Regents Bank and The Biltmore Bank of Arizona, now has a multifamily lending division, managed by Senior Vice President Karen Kim.

According to Karen, 2016 is expected to be another good year for the multifamily sector due to favorable demographic trends and economic growth, based on the Multifamily Outlook study completed by Freddie Mac.

“Demographically, the strong multifamily market is further bolstered by Millennials and empty nesters, who are increasingly choosing multifamily over single-family residences in many cities,” Karen says.

Karen’s multifamily lending team is comprised of experts in multifamily lending who have previously worked at institutions that have produced a large volume of multifamily portfolios for the past two decades or more.

Multifamily property owners and investors can access three-, five- and on a very limited basis, seven-year hybrid loans from our bank, as well as a six-month ARM loans. Qualifying properties include five or more units in Class A or B buildings, with Class C-type properties considered on a deal-by-deal basis. As portfolio lenders — meaning most of these loans remain with our bank — we have more control over our products and pricing, which is a huge advantage.

We’re working with a network of seasoned mortgage brokers throughout the markets we serve to educate them about how Grandpoint Bank and its divisions can help their clients finance or refinance properties up to approximately $15 million in loan value. Karen and her team are currently cultivating additional mortgage broker relationships in Greater Los Angeles area, San Diego County, Ventura County, Orange County, Portland, Vancouver, WA, Greater Phoenix area and Tucson.

Please contact Karen to inquire about becoming an approved broker with Grandpoint Bank.  You can also ask her to connect you to an approved broker already working with Grandpoint Bank.

Karen H. Kim, SVP, Multi-Family Lending Manager kkim@grandpointbank.com or (213) 542-2727.

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Our Senior Vice President Jan Marantz Celebrates 23 Years!

marantz_janWe are very excited to share that our Corporate Secretary Jan Marantz has just earned a promotion to senior vice president and is celebrating her 23rd anniversary with our bank. While Grandpoint was built from a number of predecessor banks, we have a remarkable number of people who have been part of our team throughout our evolution … for 20 years or more!

This kind of dedication and longevity deserves some attention. We’d like to let you know a bit about why we think Jan is such a valuable asset to Grandpoint Bank and its customers.

When Jan first came on board in 1993, it was as the administrative assistant to the president of First Commerce Bank (then Brentwood Bank of California).  She was referred by Debbie Marsten, with whom she had worked at a different bank in the 1980s.

In the beginning, it was challenging for Jan. She worked for two different presidents in short order before Jack Feldman, now a Grandpoint Bank director, joined as president and eventually brought in an experienced team that turned things around for the better.

“It was then that I knew I was here to stay,” Jan said. “I was motivated to learn as much as I could from this seasoned team of bankers.  From that point on, I’ve enjoyed coming to work every day.”

After Grandpoint acquired First Commerce Bank, Debbie, who co-founded Grandpoint and is COO, quickly recruited Jan for the position of Corporate Secretary of the Bank and the holding company, Grandpoint Capital, Inc.

“Debbie was just as I remembered her: authentic, intelligent and a great manager with the utmost integrity,” Jan said.

While she appreciates the opportunities to constantly expand her knowledge base, it’s interacting with her Grandpoint colleagues that Jan looks forward to the most each day.

“Our personalities are so diverse, but somehow it feels right,” she said. “We all work well together, respect each other and share a sense of humor.”

Jan’s job, in a nutshell, is to make sure our board of directors runs like clockwork. She manages the flow of corporate information between the board, shareholders and senior managers, advises on the board’s fiduciary duties and the mandatory procedures that ensure their regulatory compliance, and she is  responsible for managing the board’s timely review of all bank policies. She also participates in our strategic planning process, along with a host of other critical duties.

Over her long career in banking, she’s had the chance to advise and mentor others and was quick to sum up what’s worked for her in her journey up the ranks at Grandpoint Bank in hopes that it may help others.

  • Leave your ego at home. Do whatever assignment is asked of you — no job is too small.
  • Always do your best work.
  • Volunteer for special projects and offer to represent the bank outside of work.
  • Always find the time to help your colleagues.
  • Keep learning. Take work-related seminars and courses whenever you have the chance.

Jan really lives this advice and her work ethic has positioned her as an invaluable member of our team. We would say that we wish we could clone Jan, but someone already did. Fun fact about Jan: she has an identical twin sister.

While we’re glad we’ve been able to provide the kind of team and culture that earns the loyalty of super stars like Jan, her Grandpoint Bank career provided an extra perk you won’t find in our employee manual. Another fun fact: she met her husband while working at our Encino office. He had an office in the same building. We’re happy to report that they’re still going strong 14 years later.

Thank you for your dedication and incredible work, Jan. We’re fortunate to have you on the team.

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