Vista Bank plots Florida growth

Vista Bancshares in Dallas presently has a workplace in Palm Beach County, Florida, and has strategies to open a branch there this summer season.

Dallas-based Vista Bancshares is going into Florida and has actually induced a heavy player to pilot the growth. 

The $1.9 billion-asset Vista revealed today that it has actually called previous Professional Bank co-founder and CEO Dan Sheehan as president of its bank subsidiary, Vista Bank. Sheehan stated Wednesday in an interview that his short consists of “assisting with strategic matters throughout Texas,” however included his main function will be growing Vista’s Florida existence. 

Vista, which runs 16 branches in Texas, has actually developed a workplace in Palm Beach County — where Sheehan was raised — and anticipates to open a branch this summer season. 

Sheehan, who is likewise signing up with the Vista Bancshares board, made it clear Palm Beach County is Vista’s beginning point. From there, the strategy is to grow “on an opportunity- and event-driven basis. … It’s finding the right entry point with the right people,” Sheehan stated.  

In moving into Florida, Vista is looking for to take advantage of the outsize population and financial development the Sunshine State has actually enjoyed in the last few years. Florida’s population, which amounted to 22.2 million individuals on July 1, increased by more than 706,000 in between 2020 and 2022, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Those brand-new citizens brought a lot of cash with them, enhancing the size of the state’s deposit market by 24%, to $878.1 billion, in the very same period, according to Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. data. 

According to an financial projection launched last month by Comerica, Florida is anticipated to see ongoing strong development in population, payroll work and wage development in 2023, though the effect of inflation and greater rates of interest will trigger total gdp development to slow rather. 

Dan Sheehan Vista Bank
Vista Bank in Dallas has actually called previous Professional Bank CEO Dan Sheehan as its president to lead a relocation into South Florida.

Vista Bancshares

At the very same time, the variety of banks doing organization in Florida has actually decreased gradually due to market combination. In 2014, the year Professional Bank opened its doors in Coral Gables, the state’s bank count was 267. Eight years later on, since June 30, 2022, it had actually visited 44%, to 186, according to the FDIC.

Florida “is a dynamic market,” Sheehan stated. “The deposit inflows are really impressive. If you look at new business and household formation along with the number of jobs created and all the derivative effects related thereto, while at the same time fewer banks existing, the market dynamics are compelling.”

In line with market patterns, Sheehan stated Vista prepares a lean, branch-lite operation in Florida. “Banking has become more of a people and technology play versus a property play,” Sheehan stated. “I think 20 or 25 years ago, the focus was on bricks and mortar. Banks sought locations on hard corners and visible intersections.

“I’m a company follower you have the ideal individuals, you equip them with the ideal innovation, there’s a horrible great deal of ground you can cover with simply a couple of workplaces,” Sheehan added. 

Sheehan said his relationship with Vista Bank CEO John Steinmetz “returns 6 years approximately.” 

“We’ve subjugated the concept of doing something together for a variety of years,” Sheehan said. “It simply made a lot sense to partner in this capability.”

“We are grateful to have the chance to broaden our footprint into Florida with a skilled regional expert like Dan Sheehan,” Steinmetz said Tuesday in a press release. “Together, we will offer a concierge-level banking experience to little and middle-market business and the vibrant business owners that risk their capital every day,”

Ken Thomas, president of the Miami-based Community Development Fund Advisors, said he was delighted Sheehan is returning to banking with Vista. As Professional’s CEO, Sheehan was one of a handful of Florida bankers to demonstrate a commitment to affordable housing, Thomas said. 

“He made substantial financial investments in inexpensive real estate the other banks didn’t make,” Thomas said. “Dan Sheehan is the type of lender we require in South Florida. You see him at the cafe and the supermarket. He appreciates the neighborhood.”

Sheehan was part of the group that founded Professional Bank in 2014. Sheehan served as chairman and CEO of Professional’s corporate parent, Professional Holding Corp., from 2014 to 2022, and chairman and CEO of Professional Bank from 2019 to 2022. Under Sheehan’s leadership, Professional grew to $2.7 billion of assets, reporting net income of $21.4 million in 2021. Sheehan resigned in February 2022, about six months before the company agreed to sell to the $15.3 billion-asset Seacoast Banking Corp. in Stuart, Florida, in a $489 million deal. 

Sheehan said he considered several options for a “2nd act,” including organizing a second de novo bank. Sheehan saw partnering with Vista, which he refers to as a “111-year-old start-up” in Florida as the most attractive option, mainly because an existing institution can hit the ground running in ways a new bank cannot. 

“There are particular financial truths to running an actually little balance sheet that does not make a great deal of cash the very first couple of years,” Sheehan said. A de novo would have a relatively small legal lending limit, and it would be limited in its resources for talent and scale.

Vista’s Florida venture, however, “integrates the very best of both worlds,” Sheehan said. “We’re going back to square one. It’s enjoyable to move the needle because regard, however the facilities is currently in location. We’ve got a terrific operations group and a terrific personnel in Texas to support us in many aspects.” 

A quick start appears to be important to Vista, which was founded in 1912. According to Steinmetz, the company will pursue middle-market and small-business borrowers. It will also consider acquisitions. “Vista’s strong monetary position and tactical merger-and-acquisition interests in pro-business states like Florida will sustain our capability to scale the Bank and complete nationally,” Steinmetz stated in journalism release.  

In January, Vista consented to obtain the $258 million-asset Charis Holdings Inc. in Justin, Texas, for a concealed amount. That offer closed April 1.


A news media journalist always on the go, I've been published in major publications including VICE, The Atlantic, and TIME.

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