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The Power of Partnership

Welcome to the "Power of Partnership" eNews, a monthly online publication that offers tips on successful networking, advice on cultivating relationships with referral sources, and success stories from all lines of business.

Whether you’re a mortgage officer who referred a customer to someone on our wealth management team for assistance with their assets, or you’re a commercial lender who introduced your customer to their local branch manager to open personal accounts, sharing the information will encourage other employees to identify cross-referral opportunities and help expand our customer relationships.

Sales is not just the job of business development officers - we all can contribute to growth.
Together, we will increase our success and continue to demonstrate why Washington Trust is the bank of choice for so many.

Send us your Success Stories!

Do you have a success story you’d like to share? Send it to Christy Birchell in the Marketing Department at clbirchell@washtrust.com, and we’ll highlight it in our “Power of Partnership” eNewsletter which will be shared each month with all Washington Trust employees.

February 2015

A Satisfied Customer Leads to More Referrals

A client was referred to Cathleen Studley, vice president, mortgage lending, by an attorney in Lincoln. Cathleen worked with her client for more than four years before she was able to purchase the home of her dreams. The attorney was so impressed that Cathleen “hung in there” with the client for all that time, running numbers, producing pre-qualification letters, submitting two live applications that fell through due to inspection issues, that she began referring other clients to Cathleen, including the following satisfied customer who recently took out a $500,000 mortgage on an $850,000 purchase:

“I recently purchased a condominium with a loan from Washington Trust. I am writing to you at this special time of expressing gratitude, not only to thank Washington Trust for the mortgage loan but also to share with you my deep appreciation for your employee, Cathleen A. Studley, with whom I worked closely for several weeks to obtain approval of the loan. A trusted colleague had highly recommended Cathleen to me, describing Cathleen as an “excellent” bank officer who would surely assist me in any way she was able in this significant life undertaking.”

“Ms. Studley’s diligence, helpfulness, responsiveness, kindness, understanding, patience and work ethics were outstanding and truly exemplary. She is an eager, industrious person. She initiated, returned, and took telephone calls well after normal business hours and on weekends to be certain that a prospective bank customer had every bit of her help and at all times. She steadfastly worked with all parties involved to address unexpected situations that arose and with the positive and cheerful attitude that I endeavor always to exhibit. Cathleen’s “can do” attitude, cloaked in honesty and realism, was refreshing and greatly welcomed by me. Without question, Cathleen exceeded every expectation I had upon entering the loan approval process, was always accessible, was clear in her requests and explanations, and was confidently reassuring when there were certain proverbial bumps in the road. I could never adequately express my gratitude to Cathleen Studley but I felt strongly that I needed to let you know how I immensely value an employee of Cathleen’s quality and hope that Washington Trust would similarly do so.”

“Due to my exceptional experience with Cathleen Studley, I will recommend Washington Trust to any person or client whom I may know needs to inquire about or obtain financing. Washington Trust is beyond fortunate to have Cathleen Studley among its employees.”

In-house Construction Loan Specialist

Steve Bessette, executive vice president, retail lending, has a lot of praise for Denise Davis, construction loan coordinator, who, in 2015, closed 57 construction mortgages totaling $25,934,900, and 37 HELOCs totaling $5,504,558:

Denise is the best in the business when it comes to construction financing. Before joining us in 2001, Denise worked in Commercial Lending and Residential Lending with home builders, contractors and others. Since 2001, Denise has underwritten and disbursed somewhere north of 700 construction loans and/or construction HELOCs … and, she does this with a smile! Builders love dealing with us because Denise gets them their money very quickly and because she has the experience and credentials to resolve the typical disputes that can arise between builder and borrower. Denise is a solid resource for you, our Company and our clients. So, get on board and do your part to boost our economy by expanding construction credit to our clients.”

Partnership In Action

Dan Orovitz, assistant vice president & branch manager of the Johnston branch, and John Renza, vice president, wealth management, have a standing monthly meeting to share best practices and continually look at ways to enhance each other’s business. From presentations to the branch team in Johnston to getting involved at local events, they have been able to create a great synergy and at the same time create opportunity. Almost all of their interactions bring to light a specific client/prospect that would benefit from a broader banking experience.

After one monthly meeting, Dan mentioned a new client at the branch who has investable assets, but does not want to be a part of active money management, as he had a negative experience with a previous money manager many years ago. With such a great upfront experience at the Johnston branch, the client agreed to a meeting to learn more about the services Washington Trust Wealth Management offers. John met with him to tell him the WTWM story and slowly started to gain this his trust. After three introductory level meetings that included trust officer Maureen Allam and investment officer John Mortenson, the client became comfortable with WTWM and was ready to invest in the market again and has since agreed to open a WTWM account with an initial investment of nearly $600,000.


Identifying Client Needs and Providing the Right Investment Solution

David Kmetz, commercial lending vice president & team leader, in collaboration with Cayne Holland, assistant vice president, portfolio manager, Washington Trust Wealth Management, have a 100% success rate in 2015 when transitioning existing lending clients to a wealth management offering. This cross-channel relationship has led to inflows of approximately $4.5 million from outside institutions, including the following:

  • Recently a 10-year commercial customer of the Bank came into a sizable inheritance of investment securities and contacted his trusted advisor (David Kmetz) for guidance. After a lengthy discussion, David was able to target the customer’s specific needs. Subsequently, David set up a meeting with Cayne to explore Wealth Management offerings. The customer opened two investment accounts and liked our wealth management product offerings and dedicated service level so much, that he funded one account with the inherited assets and another account with personal investment assets totaling $720,000.
  • A local private golf club is a longstanding customer of Washington Trust for over 40-years. The Club’s CFO contacted David regarding the company’s current 401(k) plan. They were not happy with the level of service, performance, and fees that they were being charged with their current financial institution. Washington Trust Wealth Management was able to provide the Club a reduced fee, better product offerings, and an unmatched service level. The current plan size is in excess of $2.5 million. Recently, Cayne was at a personal function and was approached by an employee of Club who was very impressed with Washington Trust. He expressed appreciation for the training and investment options that are now available to the employees and looks forward to a rewarding and long-lasting relationship.
  • A well-known family on Block Island recently sold an investment property and reached out to David for the best investment options available to them given current rates, timing, and market conditions. Cayne was able to provide an investment solution that will cater to the clients’ specific needs. The clients have agreed to invest $1.5 million with Washington Trust Wealth Management.

Through the Power of Partnership, David and Cayne are able to capitalize on cross-channel synergies, enabling them to deliver expanded financial solutions to better serve their clients. They’re looking forward to more success in 2016.


December 2015

Working hard for our customers

Janell Hayes Bruno, Vice President, Mortgage Lending, recently received a referral from Ned Handy, President & Chief Operating Officer, on a property that had an unusual deed restriction. Janell was able to work within the constraints of the restriction and recently closed on the property. Janell received this note from an exuberant customer:

“I just want to thank you for all your help in buying my condo. I really appreciated your expertise as we navigated through my ever-evolving options! I ended up with a very nice place at a very fair price, so I couldn’t be happier. On Thursday I have the washer and dryer being delivered plus rug installers coming to take measurements, and Saturday my painter is starting. It looks like there is no stopping my dream of waking up in my new condo on Thanksgiving morning!”

Steve Bessette, Executive Vice President, Retail Lending, added, “ You can see how meaningful the new home is to the client…I {we} sometimes forget the emotional component of financial services, even among the more educated borrowers… As always, Janell did a great job!” 

Regaining financial security during a difficult time

Al Grant, Vice President & Regional Manager, Mortgage Lending, helped a recently widowed borrower refinance her property during a particularly trying time. Al received kudos from the borrower’s family members:

“Our friend can't say enough about how grateful she is for the attention and support you have given her during her efforts to refinance. I want to extend our thanks as well - you are so great, and simply an excellent person and professional. We feel lucky and appreciative for not only this kind act, but all those that came before it. This case in particular was fraught with emotion and grief, and she could not be happier with the outcome. I don't see her often, but we will be together on Thanksgiving Day - so if your ears are burning Thanksgiving Day I am sure there will be good reason.”

“Al, let me add a few words of gratitude as well. Our friend is really pleased with the way you and your staff treated her throughout the refinancing process. She has been through a horrendous couple of years, and you have helped to strengthen her life situation--and not only financially--through your kind and respectful treatment of her. She has worked hard to get through her short-term financial difficulties and to get herself back on a stable footing. Refinancing her home was an absolute necessity. I cannot think of anyone else I have ever encountered in the banking world (and I don't mean any disrespect to your profession, good sir!) that would have been as patient, encouraging and forthcoming with such sound advice as you have been. Thank you, Al.”


New technology makes the world a smaller place

Cyndi Valenti Smith, Vice President, Mortgage Lending recently worked with a couple on the other side of the world, literally. One of the borrowers is an executive in the Hong Kong office of a major corporation. The borrowers were purchasing a primary residence in Bristol, RI. During the course of the transaction, the wife was at the couple’s family home in Kentucky, while the husband was in Singapore. Using the Encompass mortgage system, Cyndi and her customers were able to stay connected with a seamless flow of documentation and disclosures. The borrowers were very appreciative of the new system and the ease with which the mortgage process progressed. The borrowers were able to attend the closing and were able to meet Cyndi in person.

The happy customers sent this note to Cyndi, thanking her for a job well done: “We received your nice note at our new home address. Thank you! I again want to say what an absolute delight you are to work with! Always so professional, helpful, and positive. And I know our multiple locations posed challenges for you. But you handled them with ease and charm! We can’t than you enough for working so diligently to obtain our mortgage on our new home. It was a pleasure to meet you in person too.”


Expanding relationships, creating loyalty

After listening to the needs of an organization that had a less than satisfying experience at their current bank Joe Confessore, Senior Vice President & Team Leader, Commercial Banking, recently provided a $9.3 million Tax Exempt Health Facilities Revenue Refunding Bond, cash management services, and the issuance of two new P-Card relationships to a 68-unit assisted living community located in Warwick, RI.

The facility consists of 49 traditional assisted living apartments, including a combination of studio, companion, and one and two bedroom apartments. It also includes a dedicated wing comprised of 19 studio and companion apartments providing specialized care to Alzheimer’s patients.

“Washington Trust has been a pleasure to work with during our recent refinancing,” said the executive director of the facility. “They were responsive to our needs and they customized a financing package that we are very pleased with. We look forward to a long relationship with Washington Trust that not only serves our banking needs, but throughout our organization.”

This expanded relationship with the facility will serve the bank and the community for years to come. Thank you to everyone involved! It would not have come together without the teamwork across all divisions of the bank.


July 2015

A Slam Dunk for Washington Trust

Being responsive and finding a personal connection with a customer helped Scott McCaughey win a new $14.0 million Commercial Banking relationship. A local nursing home was a long-time customer of Santander Bank and prospect of Washington Trust. Their bank was slow to respond to a new construction financing request for a new assisted living facility, which allowed the Washington Trust deal team to capitalize on the opportunity.

The prospect was a Providence College grad and basketball season ticket holder. Being a PC basketball season ticket holder himself, Scott had received an extra Bryce Cotton bobble head at a recent game, which he gave to the prospect. That gesture made all the difference! Soon after he received the bobble head, the deal was approved and closed which will allow this new customer to expand its nursing home operation into assisted living.

As part of the win, a cross sell was made to Sheila Raposa in cash management and deposits were opened at the Centerville branch. Future opportunities include wealth management and Bank at Work. This was a great team effort with assists from Jim Hagerty, Joe Confessore and Janice Soares.


The Charitable Client

Recently an older man walked into the office of Saleh Yassine, our Rumford branch manager. Saleh was new to the branch and learned that the client was the owner of a local construction company with several Washington Trust accounts. Sal quickly recognized that this was a high net worth individual with many interests and needs.

It turned out that the client had several business entities, and Sal listened carefully to understand the full extent of his needs in addition to details of his current relationship with the Bank. Seeing the potential to help his client in a deeper manner, Sal contacted our Wealth Management team.

The Wealth Management team included Peter Miniati, Rogean Makowski and John Mortenson. With Rogean’s extensive experience in multi-generational family relationships, Peter was able to present a scenario that helped the client. In his mid-seventies, he was shown ways in which a successful, charitably inclined business owner could increase the involvement of his family in order to continue a legacy that goes beyond the business in ways that would perpetuate his wealth and values.

Through the power of partnership, Saleh Yassine uncovered further opportunities with this high net worth family and the Wealth Management team is now proposing new trust accounts that more fully satisfy the client’s charitable intentions. These new trusts will allow for increased family engagement and fulfill the client’s wishes.


Referral Incentive Program

Did you know that Commercial Banking is offering a cash incentive to all Residential Mortgage and Wealth Management officers for referrals, which result in the closing of committed credit of $2,000,000 or more? (Excluding securities-based loans to wealth management customers.)

The closed referral must result in a full relationship, which includes the primary checking account. The incentives are tiered as follows:

  • $500 for closed loan referrals of $2,000,000 - $2,999,999
  • $1,000 for closed loan referrals of $3,000,000 - $4,999,999
  • $1,500 for closed loan referrals greater than $5,000,000

For more information about Commercial Banking’s Referral Incentive Program, call Jim Hagerty at x1288. The Power of Partnership can benefit both you and the bank.



June 2015

An Answered Call Leads to a Relationship

Janell Hayes Bruno, Vice President, Mortgage Lending, received a blind call a couple of months ago regarding mortgage rates. She was able to take the customers’ application over the phone, the borrowers emailed their documentation to her, and Janell was able to rate lock the loan, all in the same day! She was also able to sign disclosures with the borrowers after-hours to accommodate their schedules. They closed on their mortgage last week and recently stopped by the Franklin Street branch to meet with Rosalie Pastore, Professional Banker. Rosalie assisted our new customers by opening two checking accounts, two savings accounts, and a credit reserve. They will be back to open a safe deposit box soon.


Paying It Forward

The local family has been a long time customer of Washington Trust, with accounts including wealth management, a substantial business checking account, and a residential mortgage. Five years ago, as a result of branch referral, Al Grant, Vice President, Regional Manager, Mortgage Lending, was introduced to the family and was able to help with a land loan that ultimately resulted in a jumbo construction loan allowing them to build their dream home in South Kingstown.

Since then, Al has stayed in regular contact with the customers, and they recently contacted him for guidance on a potential commercial acquisition. Al contacted Jim Hagerty, Executive Vice President & Chief Lending Officer, who worked with Scott McCaughey, Vice President, Commercial Banking, to review the deal. A $2,000,000 commercial loan will close this month to finance the acquisition, further solidifying the family’s already strong relationship with Washington Trust.

It is very satisfying to see the Power of Partnership at work. Without the great relationship developed by our team, Al would not have been able to help with their residential needs. Al was thrilled to be able to “pay it forward” to the Commercial Lending Team with a simple referral that he knew, with great confidence, would be handled deftly. What a concept… Great Company, Great People, Great Communication. It’s simple, it works, it’s “powerful”.

Broadening A Relationship

Since the opening of the Johnston branch, Aaron Guckian, Officer, Sales Coordinator and Dan Orovitz, Assistant Vice President, Branch Manager, have been working on obtaining the deposits of a local company that sells quality wall and decorative accessories and has been in business more than 40 years. The company has an existing commercial loan with Washington Trust, and with the initiative to garner deposits for “orphan” commercial loans, Bob O’Neill, Vice President, Business Banking and Sheila Raposa, Vice President, Cash Management, joined the efforts with Dan and Aaron to open money market and checking accounts totaling over $300,000.


Referral Incentive Program

Did you know that Commercial Banking is offering a cash incentive to all Residential Mortgage and Wealth Management officers for referrals, which result in the closing of committed credit of $2,000,000 or more? (Excluding securities-based loans to wealth management customers.)

The closed referral must result in a full relationship, which includes the primary checking account. The incentives are tiered as follows:

  • $500 for closed loan referrals of $2,000,000 - $2,999,999
  • $1,000 for closed loan referrals of $3,000,000 - $4,999,999
  • $1,500 for closed loan referrals greater than $5,000,000

For more information about Commercial Banking’s Referral Incentive Program, call Jim Hagerty at x1288. The Power of Partnership can benefit both you and the bank.

Do You Know An Experienced Mortgage Loan Originator?

We have openings for Mortgage Loan Originators in our RI, CT, and MA mortgage offices and offer employees a special bonus referral program for these positions. If the applicant you referred is hired, you will receive a referral bonus of $2,500 paid within 30 days of hire. You may be eligible for an additional bonus in six months depending on how much loan volume your referral closes – up to $3,000 more in a second bonus payment.

If you know of someone who is an experienced Mortgage Loan Originator that you believe would be a good addition here, talk with them and encourage them to apply through our website. Be sure they let us know that you referred them, and be sure you submit a completed referral form to Human Resources (Click Here For Referral Form). If you have any questions, call Ellen Paster, Vice President, Human Resources, at x1485.



April 2015

The Beginning of a Strong Relationship

Cate Fusco, Vice President, Commercial Real Estate, recently began a banking relationship with the owners of South County Commons, a complex featuring residential, office, and retail space in Wakefield, R.I. The relationship resulted in a $25 million loan, in which several other financial institutions participated, cash management services, including remote deposit capture, as well as four checking accounts and one money market account. The accounts have been funded and the current combined balance in the five accounts is now more than $500,000!



A Well-Executed Effort

After establishing the new commercial relationship and deposit services with Cardi’s Furniture, Joseph Confessore, SVP & Team Leader, Commercial Banking and the commercial sales team continued their cross sale efforts by discussing our 401(k) Advisory Services with the Cardi’s team. Once the 401(k) business was established, planning for Bank-At-Work services began for the Cardi’s employee base. Truly a team effort and a perpetual cross sell initiative across all business lines. Most recently, Cardi’s is considering interest rate derivatives to hedge their interest rate costs in the years to come. Thank you all for the well-executed effort, but special thanks to Peter Miniati, Jayne Poland, Rogean Makwoski, and the newest addition to the commercial banking sales team, Luba Stolyarova, for making us look so good with such a high profile client!


Loan Operations News & Updates

Click here for the first edition of a quarterly newsletter from the Loan Operations Team. In upcoming editions, you can expect to see production statistics, process improvements, and product enhancement and additions. We'd like you tell us what you think … please send your suggestions to Vashaan Nowell at venowell@washtrust.com or call her at x3542.



February 2015

San Miguel School

The mission of San Miguel School of Providence is to reach out to boys whose talents have been overlooked and instill in them the confidence to succeed. (San Miguel School Annual Report 2013).

Kathy Velle, Customer Service Representative at the Bonnet Shores branch, was talking with one of her summer neighbors, San Miguel’s business manager, who happened to mention the school was looking for a new bank. Kathy recognized this as an opportunity to introduce Washington Trust and referred the San Miguel School to Sheila Raposa, Vice President, Cash Management. Sheila assessed the school’s situation and identified its need for deposit and cash management services. To date, we have received new deposits totaling $500,000 in DDA and Money Market accounts, and Keith Lavimodiere, Vice President, Small Business Lending was successful in providing the school with a line of credit. Yet another example of identifying a great opportunity!


Recognizing an opportunity

In September, the Wealth Management group received an inquiry from a leading local trust attorney: “Would Washington Trust be interested in serving a Rhode Island family? The patriarch has become disenchanted with his current trust company. The relationship totals $13 million, and, if you pass muster with him, Washington Trust would serve as Trustee on irrevocable trusts, co-trustee with family members on other trusts, and investment manager for other accounts, including IRAs, among the nineteen discrete accounts comprising the family relationship.” We said yes.

The patriarch expressed his confidence in our Investment Officer, Matt Blank, with whom he had worked years earlier at another institution. Trust Officer Patricia Dillon, and Trust Planning/Business Development Officer Peter Miniati rounded out the proposed service team for the family. Our team scheduled a meeting with the family: Patriarch, his three children, one son-in-law. (We later met individually with other in-laws, and opened IRAs for them). We passed muster and were engaged as Trustee and Investment Manager.

Our team also asked how we might further leverage the Bank’s resources for the family’s benefit. The son-in law mentioned that he was the managing partner of an LLC whose members included him, his wife and her brothers, and that they had a $1.25 million loan secured by the siblings’ own investment accounts at another trust company. The loan to the LLC was made by a third party – a separate community bank. Joe Confessore, Senior Vice President, and Team Leander, Commercial Banking, joined the service team to evaluate the lending opportunity and to recommend a Washington Trust loan proposal that best fit the family’s objectives.

The son-in-law, as managing partner of the LLC, and spokesman for his wife and in-laws, liked the proposal. He appreciated that they no longer needed to deal with two separate institutions – one lender and a different investment manager. Washington Trust would serve both roles.

Retail banking experts from the Providence branch opened accounts for the Patriarch and the LLC and stand ready to help the team further identify and serve future needs among the family.

The nineteen accounts each carried unique account titles and they had various combinations of authorized parties and signers. Opening accounts and collecting and posting assets for a relationship of this nature requires diligence and accuracy. The Washington Trust Wealth Management Support Services department met that challenge.

In our first phone call, we told the Patriarch that we could serve his family’s financial needs in a comprehensive fashion. We were pleased when he, and they, honored Washington Trust by engaging us to do so.

Networking Opportunities

The following are upcoming networking and volunteer opportunities available during the month of March. If you are interested in attending any of these events, please contact Tammy Joslin at x1254 or email her a tljoslin@washtrust.com.

Sunday, March 1st
12:00 noon - 1:00 pm
Special Olympics - Super Plunge/Torch Run Plunge
Goddard State Park, Warwick, RI

Friday, March 6th
6:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Rhode Island Philharmonic - A Gala Evening with Joshua Bell
Concert at Veterans' Memorial Auditorium, Providence, RI
Gala at Renaissance Hotel, Providence, RI

Friday, March 6th
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
URI Alumni Association - Spirit Tasting of Big Chill Weekend
Wine Tasting at Newport Vineyards, Newport, RI or Craft Beer & Spirit Tasting at Mews Tavern, Wakefield, RI

Saturday, March 7th
5:30 pm - 12:00 am
Hasbro Children's Hospital - Hasbro Scrabble Ball
Rhode Island Convention Center, Providence, RI

Saturday, March 7th
6:00 pm - 12:00 am
URI Alumni Association - Blue Tie Wine Pairing Dinner of Big Chill Weekend
Providence Public Library, Providence, RI

Saturday, March 7th
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Easter Seals Rhode Island - All In Good Taste Food, Wine & Beer Pairing
Village Inn, Narragansett, RI

Friday, March 13th
7:30 am - 5:30 pm
Bryant University - Women's Summit 2015
Bryant University, Smithfield, RI

Friday, March 14th
7:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Trinity Repertory Company Bourbon Tasting
Pell Chafee Performance Center, Providence, RI



December 2014

Networking with an important referral source

The Power of Partnership takes many forms. In this instance, an event planned by Cate Fusco, vice president, commercial real estate (CRE) was the catalyst for an important referral opportunity. In planning the event, Cate reached out to Tarlow Breed, a Boston law firm with whom CRE does business, and invited them to co-host a networking event. While compiling the invitee list, CRE also included their partners at Weston Financial. The networking event led to an opportunity for Maria Staffiere and Jim Scanlan, both of Weston Financial, to meet with the Estate Planning Group at Tarlow Breed. While no “actual” business occurred to date, those partners will be referring their clients to our partners at Weston. This is a great example of how partnerships circle and intersect. Good business done with Tarlow Breed by CRE now leads to opportunities for referral business in Weston/Wealth Management!


Recognizing an opportunity

An annual SBA file update was conducted on Scribbles Academy Inc. While reviewing the relationship and guarantor’s personal financial statement, it was noted that the guarantor’s residential mortgage had a rate of 5.50% and was with another lender. Chris Brierly advised loan officer Keith Lavimodiere to speak with customer to find out if she was interested in refinancing her mortgage with Washington Trust and lowering her rate. The customer was interested, so Keith referred her to Beverly Fairbanks. The mortgage is currently in the closing process. Great job by Chris Brierly in our Small Business Department for noticing the referral opportunity while conducting a routine file review!


eBlasts: A great way to stay top-of-mind

Peter Miniati, wealth management vice president and planning officer, recently heard from an attorney he hadn’t heard from in years, in response to an eBlast the Marketing Department sent on Peter’s behalf. The attorney provided Peter with a referral on a $4 million account, which wouldn’t have happened if Peter’s eBlast hadn’t prompted the attorney to call him with the referral. Other wealth management officers have reported similar success with eBlasts sent to their clients, prospects and centers of influence, as have officers in commercial lending, commercial real estate, and mortgage lending. If you’d like more information on a customized eBlast for your line of business, please contact Christy Birchell in Marketing at x1334 or clbirchell@washtrust.com.



October 2014

Great Customer Service

A new customer recently purchased a home in South Kingstown in April. She was newly retired and moved here to be near family. Gina Mead, Vice President, Mortgage Lending, processed the mortgage on the new home. When she made the move to South Kingstown in August, she was so pleased with the wonderful personal service she received from Gina that she met with Bea Burgess, Professional Banker at the Wakefield Branch, to open a checking account to use as a renovation account on her new home. She was so pleased with the service she received from Bea that during the first week of October, the customer came back to the Wakefield branch with a check to fund a money market account. She has since returned to open a second checking account to use as her primary account and told us she will be moving all of her funds from another financial institution to Washington Trust. To date, her deposit accounts with us total $161,731.56!


Teamwork & Communication

Joe Confessore, Senior Vice President and Team Leader, commercial lending, was recently putting together a loan package for an existing client to finance an owner-occupied building and a new vehicle for a locally owned and operated bus company. While assessing the risk associated with the loan, Joe contacted Dick Boenning, Vice President and Trust Officer, and Jim Scanlan, Director and Planning Officer at Weston Financial, to provide life insurance to the customer to enhance the credit structure of the relationship. After suggesting at least $1.0 million in coverage, the borrower decided to obtain $2.0 million in coverage, which will help fund his estate plan. The cross sell of life insurance not only reduced the Bank’s credit risk, but it also served as a solution to the family’s estate plan.


Importance of Referrals

A long-time commercial customer recently contacted Tawny Beckmann, Commercial Lending Associate, for assistance with a construction mortgage for a home he planned to build in the Misquamicut section of Westerly. Tawny referred the customer to Beverlee Fairbanks, Mortgage Consultant at our Centerville Road branch. Beverlee immediately scheduled an appointment with the customer and his wife, and the $650,000 construction loan process was underway! Construction on the property is scheduled to begin this month.




Thank You Notes

A colleague of Jim Hagerty, Executive Vice President & Chief Lending Officer, recently closed on a mortgage with Scott Haggerty, Mortgage Loan Officer at our East Providence Office. Here’s what the customer had to say about the service he received from Scott:

I did not get a chance to speak with you at the last board meeting, so I thought I would send you an email letting you know that I recently bought a new home in Lincoln and got my mortgage with Washington Trust. Scott Haggerty was the banker I worked with and he was great. He was very responsive and helpful. The timing of the closing got a little messy with the seller and Scott was extremely flexible and went above and beyond to accommodate. I just wanted to let you know that I was extremely pleased with Scott and would recommend him to anyone seeking a mortgage.
Adam K.

Introducing Securities-Based Lending

A versatile source of credit using securities as collateral

With a Securities-Based Loan or Line of Credit ($250,000 or greater) from Washington Trust, customers can borrow money using marketable securities held at Washington Trust or another financial institution as collateral. This gives them the ability to access liquidity while maintaining their portfolio’s current exposure to the market, which helps them:

  • Manage cash flow without liquidating assets
  • Cover near-term expenditures or major purchases
  • Mitigate tax consequences of asset sales
  • Take advantage of investment opportunities
  • Address cash-flow needs
  • Meet longer-term life goals, such as charitable giving, hobbies or education costs

If you have any questions or need more information about our Securities-Based Lending program, please call Joe Confessore at x1439 or email him at jmconfessore@washtrust.com.

Need Help With LinkedIn?

Unsure how to get started, make connections or join groups on LinkedIn? Click the link below to view the LinkedIn 101 webinar.

LinkedIn 101 Webinar

For more information, please contact Tony Nunes at x1657 or by email at ajnunes@washtrust.com.





August 2014

Save the Date! Power of Partnership Dinner Meeting

When: Thursday, October 2, 2014
Where: Poliquin Group World Headquarters
1598 South County Trail, East Greenwich, RI 02818
Time: 5:30 – 8:00

Look for more information and your formal invitation coming soon!


A Big Win For Washington Trust!

A persistent, joint effort by the following business lines, and a strong referral from a mutual customer, resulted in a big win for Washington Trust: multiple accounts from a local construction company based in North Stonington, Conn. Amy Arruda, VP & Regional Manager, Retail Banking and Patti Hartford, VP & Manager, Cash Management, first presented a cash management proposal in 2011, but the company was not ready to leave their current bank at the time. Another opportunity arose in June 2014, leading to the following accounts with Washington Trust:

Commercial Banking, Joe Confessore: $3 million Line of Credit
Cash Management, Patricia Hartford: $5 million in DDA Deposits and Cash Management services including, Business Checking with Account Analysis, ACH, Remote Deposit Capture, Positive Pay and short-term investment sweep account.
Retail/ Franklin Street Branch, Jennifer Dugas, Amy Arruda The customer requested Franklin St Branch for their local depository branch and daily banking needs
Compliance & Community Affairs: Dennis Algiere, who has a professional community relationship with the business owner and the company’s local municipal projects

We recently received the following email from the customer: “Joe & Patti, We have reviewed your financing and banking proposal and have decided to move to Washington Trust. I was very impressed with your Treasury and Cash Management solutions. Let me know a good time to meet to map out our transition plan.”


A Good Deal In The Works

On a recent prospect call with a Providence-based hospital equipment, medical supplies and medical equipment company, Joe Confessore became aware of the company’s dissatisfaction with their incumbent 401(k) advisor. The company was assessing their options with other service advisors. Joe referred the opportunity to Peter Miniati, VP, Wealth Management, who assembled a sales team to make a presentation to the company’s management. Our team recently made a presentation call, which was well-received. While a final decision has not been made yet, through Joe’s initiative, the company was made aware of Washington Trust’s capabilities in this area. The opportunity enhances Washington Trust’s credibility as a middle market lender as it seeks to replace the incumbent bank for all banking services.



Understanding A Customer’s Needs

During a conversation with a customer, the principal asked whether Washington Trust would be interested in participating in a tax-exempt refinancing of a large continuing care retirement center in Dedham, Mass. The principal was a member of the board of directors of the sponsoring entity. Julia Anne Slom, SVP, Commercial Real Estate, referred this opportunity to Jason Costa in C&I commercial banking. After attending the bank meeting at the end of June, Jason delivered a commitment for $25MM tax-exempt direct purchase bonds on July 15th. The rapid turnaround was a result of a team effort including his team leader, Bob Kent and his underwriter, Melissa Foley. The result highlights the importance of selling the capabilities of the entire bank when speaking to customers.




July 2014

Building Trust in Our Brand

The following excerpt from National Mortgage News’ “Eight Ways To Quickly Build Trust In Your Brand,” originally addressed mortgage marketing and branding, but the advice given can be translated for professionals in all of our lines of business. Whether you’re a commercial lender, a wealth management officer, or a retail banker, understanding our brand and building trust with your customers is the key to building successful relationships:

No matter what business you're in, the only thing you’re really selling is trust. Consumers want to know they can trust their Bank to do the right thing, give them a fair deal and make it to closing. On time. Those who prove to be the most trustworthy and have a widespread reputation as such are the winners. Key trust-building attributes in order of importance for businesses include:

  • Listening to customer needs and feedback
  • Taking responsible action to address issues
  • Placing customers ahead of profits
  • Transparent and open business practices
  • High quality products or services
  • Ethical business practices

So, how can you leverage this information to drive trust in your brand? Here are eight ideas to consider:

1. Acquire certifications, awards and participate in continuing education classes. For example, through the Mortgage Bankers Association, you can earn your Certified Mortgage Banker designation. Earning this designation places you in the upper echelon of professional success in the industry. Additional examples could be the Better Business Bureau designation or an award for "best places to work" or "fastest growing company." Washington Trust has been named one of Providence Business News’ “Best Places To Work” for four consecutive years. Contact the Human Resources Department to find out what certifications or continuing education classes are available in your line of business.

2. Leveraging social media is a great way to build trust. Social media engagement is unique in that it works for small start-ups and well-established behemoths alike. In a report from eMarketer, 82% of consumers trust a company more if they are involved with social media. This means that if you're active on Facebook, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn, distributing helpful information and writing blogs, your ability to build trust among your target audience is greatly accelerated. This statistic is not far behind friend and family recommendations. Being social accommodates many of the key factors listed earlier from the survey that build trust.

3. Be careful not to overstate. We've always been told as children and adults that if something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Consumers are much smarter and more discerning than ever before especially when it comes to financial services, so if you feel you can offer something special, be sure to show proof that you're offering is real. If you say it, then you must prove it. No empty statements allowed.

4. Be on time; just do what you say you're going to do when you say you're going to do it. Yes, I know that sounds really simple, but surely you know people who are always running just a little bit late. And then, they want you to trust that they'll deliver needed documents and other key services on time after you hire them. Put yourself in the clients' position. Don't you get annoyed when people aren't on time when you're on a busy schedule?

This also goes for over-promising. It drives business people crazy if you say you'll have it on Monday but can't get it done until Thursday. In the mortgage industry, the consequences of late performance can be far-reaching and have a domino effect.

5. Make sure your marketing materials have consistency. Consistency shows your prospects that you have a unified voice and that you know what you stand for. If the language, look and feel of your marketing materials appear disparate, this tells your audience that you're not really sure what you stand for quite yet and may even create brand confusion not just externally, but internally as well.

6. Show passion for what you do. You must take a real interest in helping those you come in contact with that are candidates for what you have to offer. There are many ways to demonstrate your passion. As a company, it's evident in the attitudes of your employees, how they dress, the technology you have to ensure a smooth process, your attentiveness to customer needs, product knowledge, showing you've done your "homework" prior to meetings and much more.

7. Don't hide behind the fine print. This is a big one and we all know what it means. If you know you might need to leverage the fine print after you get a contract signed, you may make your profit in the immediate term, but it will cost you dearly in credibility once your client gets on his computer and writes a blog about what it's like to do business with you or simply goes to Yelp and gives you an ugly rating.

8. Show off your testimonials. Especially if you're a lesser-known entity, it's important to share testimonials with your prospective clients. Posting written testimonials on your website is an excellent idea. If you can get video testimonials from clients and others who refer business to you −even better!

Trustworthiness is really the bedrock of our company and our brand.


Partnership in Action

Cyndi Valenti Smith, Vice President, Mortgage Lending, recently introduced Laurel Bowerman, Vice President, Commercial Real Estate, to her contacts at a local real estate agency in Narragansett. The company closed on a small term loan for the acquisition of an office building, and were so happy with the service they received from Laurel that they’re currently working on a second office acquisition loan with her. Meanwhile, Laurel referred one of her top clients to Cyndi to handle some end loans for a condominium project in the Edgewood Section of Cranston. In turn, Cyndi introduced the customers to the real estate office to help them market the condo project. All-in-all, a true testament to partnership in action, helping local businesses and business owners in the process.


Benefits of a Community Bank

Rosalie Pastore, Retail Banker at the Franklin Street branch, referred a customer to Janell Hayes Bruno, Vice President, Mortgage Lending, for a potential mortgage. After reviewing the customer’s existing financing, Janell determined a line of credit made more sense. The customer had a substantial amount in an IRA with another financial institution and when Janell asked if he would consider moving some of his retirement assets to Washington Trust, he said he’d be happy to do that. In the end, the customer closed a $332,000 home equity line of credit, as well as an IRA, which was funded with $250,000. The customer continues to rave about Washington Trust and the benefits of a community bank. Great job, Janell and Rosalie!



A Successful Sale

Bob Quirk, Vice President and Planning Officer, Wealth Management, recently referred a local sterilization and pasteurization company to Bob Kent, Vice President, Commercial Lending. The referral resulted in a commitment for a $3.5 million revolving line of credit. When the company recently sold its factory in Baltimore, a $4 million investment account was opened with Washington Trust Wealth Management, and an additional $4 million will be invested with us when the principal sells more property in California. Together, Quirk and Kent’s seamless presentation of Washington Trust resulted in a successful sale.




May 2014

The Power of Partnerships

The following thank you note received from Bruce Lane, Broker Associate, Williams & Stuart Real Estate, after he attended our Executive Healthcare Forum on April 10th at the Crowne Plaza, clearly demonstrates the “Power of Partnership,” and how one business owner can benefit from several of our lines of business:

Dear Mr. Handy,
I wanted to personally thank you for including me in yesterday’s presentation. It was informative and “eye-opening” information. Forgive my old-school systems on handwritten notes, but I still believe it shows sincerity and respect, which at times gets lost in the day-to-day business shuffle.

As I stated to you yesterday, your Bank, starting with the extreme personal service of your Oaklawn branch, your residential mortgage department with Al Grant, and our experience with your commercial lending department for our real estate office purchase, has been instrumental in my company’s growth and my personal growth. I now see that the company’s philosophy starts from the top.

Warm regards,
Bruce Lane


Introducing the Visa® CommUNITY Credit Card

Did you know? Washington Trust offers the Visa® CommUNITY Credit Card, designed specifically for non-profits and municipalities? The card is the perfect way for these organizations to manage their finances. Credit approval is based on the organization with no personal guarantee needed. It offers:

  • Consolidated statements
  • Free management reporting
  • Generous credit line
  • Dedicated cardmember service
  • Optional rewards program

For more information, call Diane Lynch in Consumer Credit at x1368.


One RI Institution Helps Another

Washington Trust recently received a mandate from a well-known Rhode Island furniture store to be its lead bank and principal depository. The store’s relationship with their previous financial institution dates back to the 1940’s, so acquiring these accounts was truly a team effort. Participating in the sales effort were Joe Confessore and Chris Vedro from commercial lending, Sheila Raposa from cash management, Peter Miniati from wealth management, Jayne Poland from the Westminster branch and Alison Medeiros of the North Kingstown branch. In addition to the credit relationship, our new customer will utilize our cash management services, 401(k) advisory services, interest rate swaps, and personal banking services for the business owners and their families.


Securities Based Lending – A Custom Solution

Bethany Lardaro, branch manager of our Sweet Meadows Narragansett branch, referred a customer to a mortgage originator to refinance his existing loan held with another bank. The other lender offered a very aggressive rate, which Washington Trust could not match. Bethany, realizing this customer was a wealth manager customer, contacted Joe Confessore, who suggested a Securities Based Loan using the customer’s wealth management assets. Washington Trust was able to offer a more competitive rate and a quick turnaround. Within the next two years, this customer will have lending opportunities with other mortgages coming due. This is a great example of understanding the customer’s financial profile and offering a custom solution.


A Collaborative Effort

On April 11, 2014, Washington Trust closed a commercial mortgage for a charter school located in Central Falls. The funds were used to purchase the building adjacent to their current school from the City of Central Falls. The building was needed by the school in order to expand the capacity of students educated at this institution. The loan request was originally referred to Washington Trust by Aaron Guckian of the business banking group in October 2012. The loan was referred to John Kennedy of commercial lending, who met with the principals to begin the process. In March 2013, John was named as the team leader of the small business lending department, and this prospective client was transferred to Tom Quinlan of the business banking group. Tom & John worked together on this loan request. This was a complicated deal to close for two reasons:

1) It was the first charter school that Washington Trust has financed, so there was a learning curve;

2) the loan would carry a 90% USDA Guarantee and that process was complicated.

In September 2013 Aaron Guckian, Jonathan Roderick of retail banking and Beth Frenette of cash management made a call to the school to discuss their deposit needs. In April 2014, after the diligent and persistent efforts of all, the deposit and cash management accounts were opened by Sheila Raposa of cash management and Alyssa Whorf of the Reservoir Ave branch. On April 11, 2014, Tom Quinlan closed the commercial loan and the deposit account was funded. The school currently has a commercial mortgage in the amount of $384,000 that carries a 90% USDA guarantee, a business checking account with an average balance of $1,300,000, as well as online banking and cash management services.

This was a very long process, with many officers coming into contact with every segment of this process. In the end, the customer had the utmost confidence and was satisfied with the service received from Washington Trust.


April 2014

Leveraging a Relationship

Scott Haggerty, mortgage loan officer at our East Providence branch, has leveraged our commercial relationship with a large distributing company into several Bank-At-Work opportunities. The events have allowed Scott to introduce Washington Trust’s mortgage lending capabilities to a large number of employees, which would not have been possible without the commercial relationship. To date, as a direct result of these Bank-At-Work events, Scott has closed $1.2 million in mortgage business and has an application in process for another $1.2 million. 



Teamwork in Action

Mary Ettinger, vice president, commercial real estate group, recently closed a $5.2 million commercial real estate mortgage. Mary then referred her customer to Cynthia Valenti Smith for a $750,000 residential loan. The customer was so satisfied with the outstanding customer service she received on both loans, she decided to move all of her deposit accounts to Washington Trust. She met with Patti Hartford, VP & Manager, Cash Management, who set up cash management services for her at the beginning of this year. The customer has since contacted Mary again, and a $6.1 million commercial real estate refinance is currently in the works on the customer’s multi-family property. 



Open Communication

A local attorney visited the Bonnet Shores branch to open a large checking account for his elderly aunt using his power of attorney. Kristen Cornwall, assistant vice president & branch manager, suggested the attorney meet with Charlie Roberts to discuss the aunt’s overall estate planning needs. In addition to the funds she used to open the checking account, the aunt had a substantial amount of financial assets in many different accounts at other institutions. Together, Kristen and Charlie introduced the attorney to the benefits of consolidating all his aunt’s accounts into one Washington Trust Wealth Management account with total assets of $3 million.



Keys To Success

Vanessa Zampini, vice president and branch manager at our Centerville Road branch, shares these best practices for successful customer relationships:

• Once a new business relationship has been set up at my branch, I follow up with a personal introductory phone call
• I use our CRM to schedule follow up phone calls with my top customers, which has resulted in more new business. This also keeps me top-of-mind when a customer has a question or other banking need
• Internally, I make it a habit to meet with my business partners from other lines of business on a quarterly basis, and to always keep them in the loop when it comes to referrals

Having the right conversation with customers and business partners is a great way to build relationships and is a win-win for Washington Trust!


March 2014

Successful Relationship

Maria Staffiere of Weston Financial recently met with Bill Niland, mortgage officer at the Washington Trust Mortgage Company office in Burlington, Mass., to discuss each other’s capabilities. Shortly after Maria and Bill met, Bill took a mortgage application from a client and noted that the client had $1.6 million in cash. As Bill discussed the financials with his client, they talked about his life and his business and it soon became apparent the client needed a financial plan. Bill introduced his client to the team at Weston, where he has become a financial planning client, and has placed his investments with Weston as well. Weston is looking forward to a long, successful relationship with their new client!



Product Knowledge

Jason Quinlan, branch manager at the Plainfield Pike branch, recently recognized the significant growth in his branch’s loan portfolio because of its relationship with mortgage officer, Jeff Marchetti. Jeff has been instrumental in training the Plainfield Pike staff on product knowledge and the right questions to ask customers about their lending needs. While working with Jeff this quarter, the branch has a total combined relationship of $1.3 million in expected closed loans for the first quarter. A special thanks to Jeff for contributing to the success of the Plainfield Pike branch and helping the staff’s loan product knowledge grow considerably.



Good Effort Across All Lines of Business!

John Kennedy and Tawny Beckmann have built a solid commercial banking relationship with a customer dating back to 2000. The client often calls them with questions about Bank products and services and appreciates the honest guidance he receives. The client recently called Tawny asking for assistance to purchase a home for his family. Although he had not yet signed a sales agreement, Tawny encouraged him to meet with mortgage officer, Beverlee Fairbanks, so when he was ready to put in an offer on a home, he would be in the position to make a viable offer. This suggestion was of utmost importance, as the client had lost a bid on another property because he didn’t have an approval letter from a lender. Tawny asked Beverlee to pre-qualify the client, since he was actively in the market to purchase. Tawny then provided Beverlee with the client’s financial information from his credit file in order to complete the application. The customer’s bid for a home for $750,000 was accepted and he recently closed on the property. It should also be noted that the seller approached Beverlee at the closing and asked for a wealth management contact at Washington Trust, so Beverlee referred him to Peter Miniati. Good effort across all lines of business!


Keys To Success

Keep these tips from Julia Slom, SVP & Team Leader, Commercial Real Estate Group, in mind for successful relationships with potential customers:

• Staying top-of-mind with prospects via handwritten notes or personal phone calls
• Send an article or congratulations to them when you see them mentioned in print or see something you think they may find interesting
• Remember small things about them; their likes/children/hobbies and remember to ask
• Place calls early in the morning when the decision makers answer their own phone
• Consider the long haul versus the short-term deal; we may not always be the best fit on every deal, but your persistence may pay off in the long run
• Demonstrate, don’t just talk about, our value proposition
• Ask existing clients with whom we should do business

February 2014

Partnership in Action

Janell Hayes Bruno, Vice President, Mortgage Lending received a referral from Joe Confessore, Senior Vice President, Team Leader, Commercial Banking for a high-end commercial customer with an established/extensive commercial relationship. The customer was purchasing a new home. Janell handled the mortgage with a loan amount of $1.181 million. As part of the mortgage pricing negotiation, the customer promised to open a wealth management account for upwards of $1 million. Janell called Bob Quirk, Vice President, Wealth Management, with the referral. The mortgage closed on December 30th, 2013 and an IRA in the amount of $800,000 was transferred to Washington Trust on December 31, 2013. In addition, as of January 15, 2014, the customer is opening an additional corporate reserve account with wealth management for $1.1 million. Now that’s partnership in action!


Great Teamwork

Cyndi Valenti Smith, Vice President, Mortgage Lending, connected with a customer in 2009 when he was in the process of purchasing a second home in Narragansett. At the same time, Cyndi was able to refinance his primary residence in Connecticut. The customer was so pleased with our process at Washington Trust, he opened a personal checking account with Bethany Lardaro, Branch Manager, Sweet Meadows. The customer is also the owner of a successful car dealership in Connecticut, so shortly after opening his personal accounts, he began a commercial relationship that Bethany referred to Beth Frenette, Vice President, Cash Management. To date, the customer has a total deposit relationship (both business and personal) of just over $204,000. Cyndi also connected him with our commercial lending department and a subsequent relationship of $3.4 in commercial loans was created. In 2011, the customer sold his primary residence and purchased a new primary condo unit in Connecticut. Not only did Cyndi assist him with this transaction, but she was able to capture 50% of the units in the development based on referrals from her customer. Great teamwork!


Nurturing a Longstanding Relationship

Chris Sheehan, Vice President, Business Banking, has had a longstanding commercial banking relationship with a couple (Washington Trust customers since the 1960’s), who recently sold several commercial properties with net proceeds exceeding $1.3 million. Helena Pacheco, Branch Manager, Mystic McQuade’s referred the couple to Bob Quirk, Vice President, Wealth Management to help them manage the proceeds from the sale. Bob referred the customers to Dave Kmetz, Vice President, Team Leader, Commercial Lending, for a line of credit and commercial loan to purchase real estate in Connecticut. Chris also referred the couple to Cyndi Valenti Smith, Vice President, Mortgage Lending, to refinance their B&B, which was currently financed with a mortgage company. As the customer put it, “Washington Trust has been there for us for almost 50 years, and we only want to do business with them.” Over the years, the customers have banked at the Main Office, Franklin Street, Charlestown and Mystic. Special kudos to Ann Cook, Branch Manager, Charlestown, and Chris Grasso, Business Banking Specialist, for always going above and beyond for the customers’ everyday banking needs. Wonderful example of nurturing a longstanding customer relationship!

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