Colonial names Valdes-Fauli regional president
By Suzy Valentine
Colonial Bank has named Raul Valdes-Fauli president of its Miami-Dade operations.
The Montgomery, AL, institution promoted Mr. Valdes-Fauli from director of real estate for South Florida, a position he had held since last year.
In 2004, Mr. Valdes-Fauli left Colonial, where he was the senior lending officer, to fill the same role at Union Bank. Colonial acquired Union last year.
"A year later, Union was a very attractive target for many banks," Mr. Valdes-Fauli said, "because it combined strong lending retail divisions. The acquisition closed February 2005. There are a lot of good people within the team, and the Union Bank acquisition gives us a more deal-friendly flavor."
Taking his first job in banking at Eastern National Bank in 1993, Mr. Valdes-Fauli moved to Colonial, then Union before being what he described as "re-colonized" in 2005.
Mr. Valdes-Fauli said he expects the bank to stabilize after aggressive buying that saw Colonial acquire a second bank in the state last year - Florida First Lending Corp. in Orlando.
"We're not looking at further acquisitions at this time," he said. "The focus now is to be on going out and getting new business. We plan to concentrate on organic growth.
"I like to think that things will become quieter," Mr. Valdes-Fauli said. "Every few years in banking, there are earthquakes and tectonic shifts, but that should be it for now."
He said the bank would adopt a cautious approach to the market.
"Colonial Bank isn't about stretching deals that don't make sense," Mr. Valdes-Fauli said. "Our game is to get solid deals and take them to the next level. We have a good team in place to execute that model."
In South Florida, Colonial operates 44 branches and oversees $3 billion in assets and a loan portfolio worth more than $2 billion.
Born in Boston, Mr. Valdes-Fauli came to Miami-Dade County at age 5. He attended boarding school in Massachusetts and received an MBA degree from the University of Miami.
Mr. Valdes-Fauli, who will have a Brickell office, will have responsibility for 12 employees, including residential lenders.
Coming from a family of bankers, Mr. Valdes-Fauli's introduction to banking was inevitable. He said the industry has maintained his interest.
"The family background may have influenced me into getting into banking in the first place," he said, "but beyond that, I enjoy the job. I am fortunate enough to have had great role models both in my family and now among colleagues."
Lynne Wines and Eris Sandler head Colonial's commercial and retail banking sectors for South Florida - positions they assumed after Israel Velasco left the bank for Banco Popular in June. Mr. Velasco was hired by Colonial in 2003 to replace Mr. Valdes-Fauli's uncle, Jose Valdes-Fauli.