Nuvo Bank bringing back the basics

By G. Michael Dobbs

Managing Editor

SPRINGFIELD At a time when locally owned banks are in the minority, the people behind Nuvo Bank & Trust (in organization) believe the time is right to buck the trend.

Nuvo Chairman and Chief Executive Officer James Gardner and President and Chief Operations Officer Jeffrey Sattler described their banking concept to Reminder Publications last week. It's one that combines an old-fashioned approach of a locally owned bank that builds personal relationships with its clients with the latest in high tech Internet financial services.

The concept has the support of a number of local business leaders. The Board of Directors include Joseph Topor, Jr., of Topor Dodge, Joseph Nangle of C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc., Jay Caron of Bee-Line Corporation and Dawn Carignan Thomas of Instrument Technology, Inc. The bank's founders include Donald D'Amour of Big Y Food, Inc., Joseph Peters of Universal Plastics Corporation, and Raymond Catuogno of Catuogno Court Reporting & Sten-tel Transcription Services.

Nuvo Bank & Trust is currently in the middle of its campaign to raise their needed capital and are at the half-way point of about $20 million. Sattler and Gardner believe the bank will open sometime in November, once all of the capital is raised and the bank receives final approval from regulators. They have 240 investors at this time.

Once approved, Nuvo will be the only state-charted locally owned commercial bank in Hampden County and would be the first new locally owned bank in the region in the last 20 years.

Both men have had extensive careers in banking and said they seen many changes in the industry, not the least of which is local banks being bought out by larger banks.

"Consolidation continues to nibble away at what used to be solid core," Gardner said.

While Sattler said Nuvo, which will be located on the ground floor of Tower Square near the intersection of Main and Bridge Streets, is not just going to be an Internet bank, it will use technology to "make it easy for people to do their banking."

Gardner said many of the banking services offered today are "too much of the same." Their goal is to have a bank with a culture that truly meets the needs of their customers. Because they are building a new bank from the ground up they will be able to hire a new staff and create a new banking culture.

He explained the bank's target market would be a radius of 10 miles from its downtown Springfield location. There is 17,000 businesses within that area and many of them have been underserved by other banks, Gardner added.

Sattler said the bank's niche would be business-oriented with quick turnaround for commercial loans.

"We are going to loan money where we collect deposit," he said.

The bank is hosting a series of presentations for potential shareholders around the area. For more information call 787-2706.