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Catchin' Up With ... Derek Lynch

Catchin' Up With Derek Lynch
Derek Lynch

The four years I spent at Salisbury University were some of the best of my life. The relationships I developed and education I received have been critical to my success since graduating in 2008. The Perdue School of Business provided me with a foundation in finance and management, which I use every day as a commercial banker.

I graduated from Salisbury University in May 2008 and shortly thereafter began working at M&T Bank. I started in M&T’s Commercial Healthcare Banking Division and was sponsored by the Healthcare group to enter a nine-month training program called the Relationship Manager Sales Program (RMSP). The RMSP is designed to train aspiring relationship managers (RMs) to become proficient in credit underwriting and sales. The program consists of both classroom and on-the-job training throughout various locations within M&T’s Northeast footprint.

RMs are critical to the bank as they are the primary contact for customers. They must be familiar with all of the bank’s product offerings, which include credit, treasury management, corporate cards, equipment finance, investment management, trust, insurance, etc. In addition to selling new products, RMs must administer and service existing business relationships.

As a result of the softness in the market in 2009, I only spent a little over a year in the Healthcare Division before I transitioned to an analyst position where I was responsible for underwriting and evaluating equipment finance and asset-based lending transactions. During my time as an analyst, I focused on transactions ranging from $5M to $45M. While I wasn’t excited to transition from an RM role, the time I spent as an analyst improved my credit and underwriting skills. After two years as an analyst, I was able to transition back to an RM in M&T’s Corporate Banking Division.

I have now been an RM in the Corporate Banking Division for three and a half years. As an RM in corporate banking, I focus on commercial and industrial companies with revenues in excess of $500M. Developing new relationships and cross selling in this space is challenging, because unlike a small business, the decision makers at large corporations are often insulated and hard to get in front of; however, the Perdue School of Business gave me the tools and confidence to succeed. I am the youngest RM in Corporate Banking and the only RM within the group to make M&T’s 2013 Presidents’ Council, which is awarded to the top 10 percent of RMs within the commercial bank. I can attribute much of my success to the strong academic foundation at the Perdue School, as well as relationships and contacts from there that I am still in touch with today.

I am eager to see what the future holds for me in terms of my career. One of my bucket list items from several years ago was to earn my M.B.A., which I completed in August. My advice to all students studying at the Perdue School is to have an open mind and be willing to accept change. Hard work and persistence will open doors one never thought imaginable.

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