New Haven BIZ-May.June 2019

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experience — offer insight and wisdom customized to that buyer or seller's particular situation. "We have a reputation in the field as the bank to go to for acquisitions," said Polito. It's a reputation that has grown organically over time, fueled by widespread referrals and cycles of happy clients. The SBA loan product, requiring only 10 percent down, is a great tool in the acquisition mix. Polito is adamant that the correct pieces must be in place from a business perspective to foster a successful acquisition for a business that will continue to thrive and grow. He and his team look at a transaction from every angle. "I rely very heavily on the resume of the buyer," he said. "Is it the right experience, the right buyers, the right team?" The Webster Bank advantage lies not only in its reputation as an acquisition SBA advisor and lender, but also in what it brings to the table in terms of its network — attorneys, certified public accountants, financial planners and industry specialists, to name a few. Its small-business clients can get advice customized to their field and their particular situation. Polito is an advocate of small-business owners setting up relationships with SBA professional lenders early — even before they are ready to sell or buy. "It's good to establish a banking relationship before you need it," he advises. "It's a great idea. Introduce me to your attorney and CPA." When the time comes to make a transition, the team is already assembled, but more importantly, members already know the business owner's values, goals and ways of doing business. Learning commitment Webster Bank keeps abreast of regular SBA Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) changes. These changes can include things like what life insurance is required for a business owner; loan eligibility criteria; or borrower contribution for special-use properties, such as gas stations. An SBA-lending professional that is not up on the latest SOP changes could cost a small-business owner an opportunity. It's just that simple, said Polito. So his team does not slack in its professional development in this area. SOP-change webinars and seminars are part of the normal mix of information for the Webster Bank SBA lending team. "The team is very willing and hungry to understand those changes," such as the ones that went into effect at the start of 2019, he said. "Most competitors won't read it for six months, but we know what is allowed." This up-to-date SOP knowledge dovetails with the bank's strong relationships with SBA clients, Webster's superior network of professional specialists, and its robust SBA-lending book of business. All these factors allow Webster Bank to provide SBA clients with loans that best suit their success — contributing to Connecticut's economic success overall. | Webster Bank believes strongly in developing small-business relationships early, well before a business owner is considering selling or buying. A good banking relationship is a solid foundation for later growth and change. | " " "We were the No. 1 bank in all of New England for lending in dollars," said Polito. "To beat out all the other banks …. Well, I'm still over the moon about it." Sponsored Content WEBSTER BANK INTELLIGENCE SERIES

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