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Mark Silverman

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - Finance

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President, Banco del Progreso

Bio

Mark Silverman graduated from the University of Virginia before attending the Thunderbird School of Global Management. He began his career as an Account Supervisor at Leo Burnett and then moved to Citibank. He has worked for BBVA, Caja Madrid, A.T. Kearney, PwC, IBM Global Business Services, and MasterCard Advisors. He joined Banco del Progreso in 2008 and is currently the President of the company.

"The figures have positioned the bank to continue capturing a large share of the market."

In 2011 Banco del Progreso saw a 24.1% increase in total assets, a 27.3% increase in its gross loan portfolio, and a 2.3% decrease in the NPL ratio. To what do you attribute these results?

These indicators demonstrate the dynamism of Banco del Progreso in 2011, which confirms the trajectory of healthy growth that we have achieved over the past three years. This strong growth has been possible partly in thanks to the commercial policies that have focused on the development of financial products, which is consistent with the situation in the Dominican Republic, as well as the greater involvement of our business in the competitive Dominican financial market. The figures have positioned the bank to continue capturing a large share of the market. Our efforts will continue until we achieve the market position that Banco del Progreso deserves.

How has Banco del Progreso’s recent acquisition of Banco Capital’s assets and liabilities strengthened your position in the country?

With this transaction in 2011, Banco del Progreso increased its assets by Ps765 million and its deposits by Ps497 million, solidifying our profitability while at the same time permitting us to lay the foundations for a consolidated leadership that the numbers prove we are capable of. The purchase of Banco Capital not only had a positive impact on our financial indications, but also made an internal impact on the management of our services, which created a corporate unit called “División de Negocios Empresariales.” With this unit, we are serving business sectors in the areas of industry, commerce, construction, and transport, among others.

“The figures have positioned the bank to continue capturing a large share of the market.”

Banco del Progreso was ranked as a BBB bank with a positive outlook by Feller Rate. What strategies have defined the bank’s risk management?

As clearly indicated by Feller Rate in its move to grade Banco del Progreso’s investment rate at BBB, this rating reflected our engagement in an internal transformation and competitive repositioning. Feller Rate considers that the basis is robust as it sustains the achievements of the bank, and that they comply with all of the liquidity and solvency requirements that the prudential standards of the regulator require. We are also implementing projects and systems that guarantee the minimizing of risk and maintaining sustainable growth strategies in our business endeavors.

What are your plans for continued expansion of the American Express network in the country?

First of all, we succeeded in the renewal of our contract with American Express and Lí­nea Centurion for an additional 10 years, being the only business entity in Latin America to achieve exclusivity with the company. In this way, we will be able to continue consolidating the presence of American Express in our markets as an attractive payment medium, mainly due it is flexibility, loyalty system, and points that never expire. In addition to these benefits, we offer a product called the Suma CCN American Express® card, which allows customers to save. It is an innovative card that allows clients to receive savings while shopping in commercial establishments of various types, from supermarkets, bookstores, and home goods stores to gas stations and pharmacies. In just one year, customers who have obtained this card can win savings of up to Ps30 million. Recently, American Express recognized Banco del Progreso for having created this card, which represents an innovative program in terms of marketing and because it has triggered the exceptional performance of local business. A third important aspect in the continued expansion of the American Express brand is the launch of the first American Express debit card, which, like the credit card, will have a Membership Loyalty Rewards program, making this form of payment method available for the first time in the Dominican Republic. With all of these initiatives, American Express is assuming a new position in the local credit card market, something the company has achieved on the basis of the prestige and service quality that it is able to offer.

The development of SMEs is at the center of the government’s economic strategy. How has Banco del Progreso contributed to national development in this area?

We have contributed to the degree that the prudential standards allow us, granting credits to SMEs with competitive rates and individual and personalized consultation services. In partnership with the División de Negocios Empresariales, we also offer support and follow-up services to our clients in this important sector of the economy.

What are Banco del Progreso’s priorities and its outlook for the medium term?

Our priorities are oriented toward the improvement of our internal management, relationship building with our clients, the creation of more innovative products, and the drafting of a general value proposal that permits the bank to continue realizing the aspirations of personal and corporate progress. In this way, we are working together to build an extraordinary future.

© The Business Year – December 2012

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