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Front Page » Top Stories » Guillermo Castillo Takes Over Chases Middle Market Banking In South Florida

Guillermo Castillo Takes Over Chases Middle Market Banking In South Florida

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Written by on October 15, 2009

By Zachary S. Fagenson
Guillermo Castillo says Chase Bank is looking to make a lasting impact on South Florida’s business community.

The Cuba-born, South Florida-raised executive has been named president of middle market banking in South Florida for Chase and will oversee lending to companies with sales of $10 million to $500 million. His appointment was announced Tuesday.

Mr. Castillo, who received a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Miami, was most recently a senior vice president with Bank of America/Merrill Lynch. Like so many other banks today, he said, Chase is looking to tap into the small-business lending market

"This is an effort to scale our franchise to be able to serve small- and mid-sized businesses throughout South Florida as we do in some of the other markets," Mr. Castillo said by telephone Tuesday. "Over time we will expect to be, in terms of market share, one of the leading financial services providers."

The bank splits its commercial business into two areas. One, business banking, caters to companies with sales up to $10 million. The other, commercial middle-market banking, handles companies with sales of $10 million to $500 million.

Business banking, according to a Chase press release, is headed by Carlos Alzate. Mr. Castillo will handle the $10 million to $500 million range while Ellyn Stern-Rivkees is "responsible for relationships with large corporations with sales in excess of $500 million."

Both Mr. Alzate and Ms. Stern-Rivkees were with Chase’s Florida management team before Mr. Castillo joined the bank.

Meanwhile, the bank isn’t setting, or discussing, any market-share benchmarks. Instead, Mr. Castillo said it’s looking to capitalize on what JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon calls a "fortress balance sheet" and become an integral part of the banking community here.

"We’re looking to be able to, in 10 years, look back and see something we’ve built with pride and that has very strong foundations," he said. The "approach we have at JP Morgan Chase is very consistent with relationship banking [and] I know from my experience that that’s what business owners enjoy and benefit from."

The bank’s entry into South Florida comes after JP Morgan Chase & Co. purchased

Seattle-based Washington Mutual’s banking operations from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in September 2008 for $1.9 billion.

The Washington Mutual buyout added 233 branches and 440 ATMs to Chase’s network in Florida, which now includes 239 branches and 1,025 ATMs. The bank employs about 13,000 people throughout the state and about 900 in South Florida.

Later, the bank received a $25 billion bailout from the federal government that it paid back in mid-June with $795 million in interest. Advertisement

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