November 2023

16A — November 2023 — Lenders Directory — Financial Digest — M id A tlantic Real Estate Journal

L enders D irectory

rea of Interest: For 2024, Spencer has in- vested in the new Small An interview with Michael H. Claisse, Senior VP/ Director of Commercial Real Estate Innovative Financing Solutions and Local Expertise: Spencer Savings Bank’s Unique Approach A

Business Finance Group, which will target local businesses within the Spencer footprint, as well as continue to grow C&I lending. We will continue to de- liver comprehensive financing solutions for small and medi- um-sized companies, as well as stay true to our commitment to Commercial Real Estate lend - ing. Our experienced staff has the knowledge and expertise to provide loans for equipment or property purchases, business lines or investment property development. We understand the financial challenges of busi - ness owners and real estate investors and will continue to provide our clients with fi - nancing solutions. We will also continue to provide convenient banking for them and service our clients’ entire banking needs, with deposit products that support their success. Who is your target mar- ket? The strong credit quality of Spencer’s $3+ billion loan portfolio has helped make it one of NJ’s most reliable com - munity banks, resulting in growth that expands beyond our brick-and-mortar foot- print. Headquartered in north- ern New Jersey, the bank has a proven track record of helping real estate investors and busi- ness owners not just in NJ, but throughout the Tri-State Area. For the upcoming year, we will likely be staying closer to home, meaning lending in our NJ markets surrounding our financial center locations. What is your most note- worthy transaction or proj- ect this year? I’m not sure if there is just one, as we do offer a wide variety of community loans, even in this slowing economy. However, we did have a few projects that could be mentioned. We were able to structure a $5MM loan for a mixed-use building in Queens. What was, and will be, signifi - cant for Spencer going forward is the large amount of medical office space. We are proud of several multi- family rental construction loans

Michael H. Claisse Senior Vice President/ Director of Commercial Real Estate Spencer Savings Bank

Headquarters: 611 River Dr., Elmwood Park, NJ 07407 Number of CRE specialists: 25+ Years with company/firm: 5 Years in field: 25+

we have closed in areas such as Bayonne, Passaic, Newark and Jersey City to name a few. The loans range from $5MM to $11MM, from 20+ units to 60+. These loans are all un - derwritten with a permanent loan conversion feature. Where do you think your largest growth area is and why? Construction financing of multi-family rental developments will con- tinue to be a focus, as it not only helps to hedge against interest rate risk but will also strengthen our balance sheet as completed projects come online. Small Business Finance areas of growth will be all aspects of a small business’ needs to help run their com- pany. As a new division, this group will be focused on oper- ating lines of credit, term loans for machinery and equipment and commercial mortgages for operating companies. Due to the current interest rate environment, we like most banks have tempered our expectations, especially in commercial real estate. We are cognizant of the constraints all are facing and will be pro- active in our loan structuring.

bank with a lean organiza- tion, which differentiates us from larger regional and na- tional financial institutions. Our balance sheet is strong, and our loan portfolios have weathered many storms and remain highly rated. We know our local markets and truly care about our clients; helping them to achieve their goals is always our primary focus. Our veteran lenders communicate closely with executive management to remain aligned with the Bank’s goals. This translates to certainty of execution in these times of uncertainty in lending. MAREJ

financing needed to achieve their goals. Spencer never wavered on our financing commitments during trou- bled economic times, and we remain available to our customer base. We have new products not just for financing needs, but we now have state- of-the-art online tenant security/operating account capabilities. Name some of your most unique qualities/ reasons why someone should do business with your financial institu- tion? We are a $4 billion New Jersey community

What separates you from the competition? Our lending teams continue to be flexible, nimble, and creative – with the ability to offer expedited approv- als on transactions. Lever- aging localized and direct access to decision-makers, our team works hard for clients to streamline the lending process, helping them to save time and fo- cus on their business goals. At Spencer, we constantly empower our team to find creative solutions to meet complex borrowing needs. We work closely with our clients to ensure they get the

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