HEAD FOR THE BORDER
|Not that border. Southwest Securities, FSB (subsidiary bank of Dallas-based SWS Group) recently added two offices in Ruidoso and Albuquerque, NM, to challenge competitors who lack capital or asset quality, the bank’s COO Jerry Pavlas tells us.|
Bank CEO John Holt, Jr. and Jerry. SWS Group has four lines of business: institutional, retail brokerage, clearing and the bank, which John leads. Nationally, the mortgage warehouse took advantage of the market disruption, leading to the expansion. Jerry says, “We’re getting lots of calls from commercial lenders at banks where they don’t have the capital to lend but still want to take care of their customers.” The bank targets commercial and mortgage warehouse lending, focused on mortgage companies as a conduit to the end investor, he tells us.
We snapped the Dallas SWS home, Renaissance Tower. Jerry tells us residential mortgages show a bottoming out, but CRE likely has more deterioration coming. When the downturn hit, he adds, SWS wasn’t lending to developers on a non-recourse basis like some others did. If they had cash equity in the deal up front and a strong balance sheet, they got the loan they needed.
Another angle. Have we got derricks on top of our high-rises now? Not yet. They’re communications towers. John says the New Mexico expansions are part of a focus on commercial and industrial lending, owner-occupied real estate, and a desire to be in the Southwest. Jerry says the bank went to the markets and found the banker first and then set up shop. When John isn’t working, you'll find him playing golf or reading. Jerry has a summer home in Florida and has an occasional stogie lit up while sitting on his patio and perusing loan packages.