Monthly Archives: May 2017

Scott Armstrong Joins Grandpoint Bank as Senior Vice President/Specialty Deposits Manager

Screen Shot 2017-05-20 at 5.52.06 PMAs a young child, Scott Armstrong started out with a disadvantage.  He was born severely hearing impaired. Tumors on the back of his tympanic membranes prevented him from making sense of spoken language. It wasn’t until he was 4 years old that a doctor identified the cause of his problem and arranged for surgery and subsequent speech therapy. Scott credits his early struggles with language and eventual mastery of the essential skill that eluded him as a gift—a gift that has made him a terrific listener and problem solver.

If his current title of Senior Vice President/Specialty Deposits Manager title wasn’t available, Senior Problem Solver might be a good one for Scott. By focusing on specialty banking clients and asking them about their cash management pain points, Scott has revolutionized operations for many specialty entities throughout Southern California. In case you’re not familiar with the term, specialty banking clients include third party escrow clients, attorneys and M&A firms, title and escrow companies, cities and municipalities, nonprofits, school districts, homeowner associations and property management companies, Real Estate Investment Entities (including tenants in common and Delaware Statutory Trusts), 1031/1035 trust accounts and more.

“Our specialty banking clients are organizations that deal with other organizations’ or individuals’ money,” said Scott. “They act in a fiduciary capacity, holding funds for a period but not owning those funds. It’s often a one-to-many relationship. These deposit-only clients therefore have more complex cash management requirements.”

Scott has always approached the complexities presented by these clients as opportunities.

“When Scott works with an organization, he helps them uncover any pressing challenges that they might be experiencing through the course of business and helps them co-create a plan utilizing a banking or cash management solution to address those challenges, even if that plan includes creating an entirely new Grandpoint Bank service,” said John Nixon, Executive Vice President and Regional Manager at Grandpoint Bank.

This discovery process, says Scott, is what powers his passion for banking.

Scott’s interest in banking started to bloom in high school when he enrolled in a regional occupation program (ROP) banking class. While choosing the class at the time had more to do with a cute girl than it did a career choice, that decision ultimately paved the way to discovering his knack for banking and securing a Bank of America training course and then part-time job during and through college.

He parlayed that experience to serve most recently as Senior Vice President/Specialty Deposits Group Director at Community Bank in Pasadena and as Senior Vice President/Specialty Banking Group Director at CommerceWest Bank in Irvine. Scott has managed loan portfolios worth hundreds of millions of dollars in his past, as well as sizable deposit portfolios.

“One of the things that motivated me to join Grandpoint was the combination of their community bank size that allows for creative solutions and fast decisions along with their impressive financial strength and capacity,” Scott said. “I have always considered myself an outside the box, cutting-edge banker, and in Grandpoint I have found an organization that shares that passion for creativity and flexibility.”

In addition to his work at Grandpoint, Scott serves on the board for Kidsworks, a nonprofit organization serving the educational and life guidance needs of youth in low- to moderate-income areas. He is a member of several industry trade groups, including the Community Associations Institute, Escrow Institute of California, California Apartment Association, Federation of Exchange Accommodators and Building Industry Association of Southern California. Formerly, he served as treasurer for Inland Valley Recovery Services and as a board member for Upland YMCA.

Scott works from our Orange office and resides in Trabuco Canyon, just outside Rancho Santa Margarita, with his wife and five children. In his free time, Scott loves to do just about anything outdoors with his family, including sailing, fishing and camping.

Juggling five kids under 13-years old, board responsibilities and specialty banking clients throughout Southern California relying on him to weave his magic, Scott obviously likes to stay busy in a way that benefits everyone around him.

We are excited to have Scott on our team.

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Grandpoint Bank Hires Duke Sheow as Senior Vice President/Information Security Officer

Sheow Duke Portrait-r 05_2017We’re happy to announce that Duke Sheow has joined our bank as Senior Vice President/ Information Security Officer. Duke works in our downtown Los Angeles office and manages information security, policies and compliance for Grandpoint and its divisions—Bank of Tucson, Regents Bank and The Biltmore Bank of Arizona.

Duke previously served as Chief Credit and Operations Officer at Green Dot Bank in Pasadena and as Senior Vice President/Credit Risk Officer at First Regional Bank in Century City. Notably, he also spent 14 years as an examiner at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in Los Angeles. His titles at the FDIC included senior information technology examiner and senior safety and soundness examiner.

Duke is focused on ways our bank and our clients can take steps to thwart hackers and criminals. Increased dependency on everything electronic has created a chain of virtual connections based on “trusted” relationships, and hackers will exploit each link until they find the weakest.

“Many businesses have alarms and cameras to protect their physical assets but have not invested in basic, low cost security measures for cyber-crime,” Duke said. According to the National Cybersecurity Alliance, about half of all cyberattacks target small businesses because they are soft and easy targets.

“The threat of viruses, malware, ransomware and social engineering extend beyond our clients, too, and onto our friends, families and social media connections,” Duke said.

Over the past two years, Duke has volunteered his time with the Federal Reserve Board’s faster payments and secure payments taskforces, which organize professionals in banking, retail and regulatory agencies to collectively identify and evaluate faster payment systems in the United States, while also examining the safety of those payment systems.

“Duke’s extensive background in safety and soundness, as well as information security risks, is a great fit for our bank and an advantage for our clients,” said Susan Wahba, executive vice president and chief risk officer at Grandpoint Bank. “We pursue many initiatives to fortify our information security systems and educate our clients about security topics important to their businesses. Hiring Duke further strengthens our leadership in these areas.”

We particularly like the number one reason Duke cited for wanting to join Grandpoint Bank. “What has impressed me the most is the passion I hear in my co-workers’ voices when they talk about the bank and what we do.”

Duke attended the University of California at Riverside and completed the four-year Examiner Commissioning Program. He resides in La Canada with his family.

When he’s not working, Duke shares a love of sports with his three sons. His passion for football, in particular, landed him an appearance on “The Today Show” last year, when an essay he wrote about the sport and family won him free tickets to the Super Bowl.

We’re glad Duke is playing for our team now, drawing from his experience with technology, information security, banking and risk management to oversee our information security program. Welcome, Duke!

For more information about cyber security and steps you can take, visit the security and fraud section of our website.

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