Peter Kingman’s vision of organizing and building a bank to serve the ever-growing affluent population in Southern Nevada came to fruition with the opening of SouthwestUSA Bank in May 2001. Research supported his belief that the Las Vegas market will patronize a bank that provides private banking services for elite clients. Kingman noted that other banks have offered private banking services to clients with over $1 million in assets, but clients with less than $1 million had nowhere to go for personal attention to their needs. The bank will include these individuals in its marketing efforts, in addition to the most wealthy potential clients. "We’re thrilled to bring our special brand of personalized banking to this market," said Kingman, who now serves as chairman for SouthwestUSA Bank. "Our extensive research indicates that the Las Vegas upscale demographic market is underserved, and SouthwestUSA Bank fills this void."
Unlike other banks, SouthwestUSA Bank has no teller windows or lines. Entering the bank foyer, clients encounter a beautifully appointed lobby with an aquarium and a large, wall-mounted flat-screen television tuned to the business and financial market news of the day. Once the client’s desired banking services are ascertained, meetings take place in a one-on-one conference room where a personal banking officer negotiates the desired transaction or banking service for the client. The system is designed to provide personalized service with absolute discretion. An additional unique amenity at the bank is a full-service, professional kitchen. It is designed to prepare refreshments for clients during routine visits or scheduled meetings, and also to provide for special events at the bank, such as financial planning seminars.
SouthwestUSA Bank can serve clients through three separate channels of delivery. In addition to the 6,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art headquarters building, the bank utilizes a fully secure online banking service that also provides access to investment products not usually available locally. A sophisticated courier system can also bring the bank’s full range of services to the client, including picking up business deposits and delivering documents. Upon request, individual or corporate transactions may even be completed by a banking professional at a client’s home or office, because the bank has obtained a special charter from the FDIC to provide banking transactions from remote locations.
SouthwestUSA Bank has fine-tuned community banking — small enough to be
flexible in both its product offerings and client relationships, but equipped with a range of technological products offered by larger banks. Another difference is the accessibility of the management team. If a client wants to deal personally with the bank president, he is available. Additionally, clients will always speak to a person when telephoning the bank; voicemail is only utilized for the client’s convenience.
"Our immediate success proves a bank can focus 100 percent on serving the
financial needs of the affluent," said Stephen Voelker, president of SouthwestUSA Bank. "This bank isn’t like any other — we have a look, feel and philosophy that distinguishes us from other banks that want to serve this market."
The bank’s senior management team includes: Stephen Voelker, president; Daniel Dykes, executive vice president and chief operating officer; and James York, executive vice president and chief credit officer. The board of directors includes: Peter H. Kingman, chairman of the board and president of Nevada Trust Company; Susan Britton, director and senior vice president of Scare Family Foundation; John Harvey, director of Casino Data Systems; Jeanne Hood, director of American Vantage Companies; Dr. Donald Mackay, founder of Orthopedic Specialists of Nevada; Eugene Monroe, owner of Apache Maid ranching operations; and Charles Tierce, founder and president of Shanee Oil Company.
Before the bank opened in May, it had raised capital of more than $10 million, well above the minimum required by the Financial Institutions Division of the State of Nevada. Bank deposits are insured by the FDIC.