Centric’s most powerful tool in marketing to women? Its female leadership

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When Sandra Schultz first went on a road show to pitch Centric Financial to institutional investors in 2015, it took her half a day to find her voice and tell the bank’s story with confidence.

Three years later, she hit the ground running as she and Centric’s president and CEO, Patricia Husic, set out for a week to speaking to potential investors with the goal of raising $21 million in capital. They ended with subscriptions for more than $69 million, said Schultz. She attributes her growing confidence — and the bank’s growth overall — to Husic’s leadership and the team of women who help her run Centric since she founded the bank in 2007.

In addition to raising capital, the bank’s leaders undertook a core conversion in 2018 and continued their push into the affluent suburbs of Philadelphia, including Devon, where it has a loan production office and a newly opened full-service branch.

“We’ve done a very good job of keeping our focus as a team and all working toward the goals that we have set in front of ourselves,” said Schultz, who has been the bank’s chief financial officer for 11 years.

The next goal for Centric’s team is to reach $1 billion of assets by 2020. Assets already have been steadily climbing, jumping 63% from the end of 2016 to $785 million by June 30 of this year.

When the bank crosses the $1 billion asset mark, it will face heavier regulatory scrutiny. In preparation it hired its first chief risk officer, Kimberly Turner, who started in December 2018. She was drawn by the number of women in leadership at Centric, she said.

“This is the sort of senior management team that I wanted to be a part of,” Turner said.

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At a time when many financial companies are courting women as customers, too, Centric believes it has an edge in what it calls Women Centric: Prepared to Lead, a series of quarterly events for female customers and community members. An event this past summer focused on women’s self-defense, Schultz said. The events take place in the Harrisburg region but could be introduced eventually in the Philadelphia area as well.

“It’s definitely something you see banks paying more attention to,” Schultz said of women customers. “What sets Centric apart is our female leadership team. I think it carries a bit more weight when they see the leaders of our organization present at these meetings.”

These outreach efforts seem to be helping Centric attract more female customers. The bank said that deposit accounts climbed by 17% in 2018 and that 43% of the new accounts were opened by women.

Headquarters: Harrisburg, Pa.

Assets: $785 million
ROE: 9.71%
ROA: 1.11%

Female representation among corporate officers: 67% (2 of 3)
Female representation on operating committee: 63% (5 of 8)

The Team: Andrea Ahern, Stacy Beeler, Jan Hastings, Patricia Husic, Michele Light, Flow Lynch, Leslie Meck, Molly O'Keefe, Christine Pavlakovich, Veronica Rodgers, Sandra Schultz, Cheryl Tucci, Kimberly Turner

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C-suite Diversity and equality Community banking Small business Small business lending Patricia Husic Pennsylvania Women in Banking
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