Most Powerful Women in Banking: No. 15, Cape Cod Five Cents' Dorothy Savarese

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Chairman, President and CEO, Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank

Over the past few years, Dorothy Savarese has become a key player on banking policy in Washington, D.C., serving as the chairman of the American Bankers Association and testifying on Capitol Hill on the need for regulatory relief.

But roughly 500 miles north of the nation’s capital, Savarese is best known as the leader of one of Cape Cod’s strongest banks.

Savarese, who is nearing her 14th year as CEO, has recently overseen a growth spurt of sorts at Cape Cod Five.

Last fall, the bank broke ground on a new 80,000-square-foot headquarters building and operations center. Additionally, it opened two new locations — a full-service branch and a lending and wealth management office. In total, Cape Cod Five has 19 locations along the Massachusetts coast.

Business, in other words, has been good. Total assets — including those held off balance sheet, such as loans serviced for investors — rose 7% in 2017 from a year earlier, to $6.7 billion. Net income, meanwhile, climbed 6%, to $20.9 million, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

For her part, Savarese said she is simply focused on the fundamentals of community banking.

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She set a goal this year of scheduling at least two breakfast or lunch meetings a week with people from outside the bank. The idea was to build stronger relationships with customers, colleagues and other members of the community.

It’s a work in progress, she said.

“As someone who has consistently worked through meals for the past five years in order to gain hours in the day, this is going to be a challenge,” Savarese said. “There will always be a deadline or an important meeting, and it is important to maintain focus on growing relationships along the way.”

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