To First American’s Clients, Colleagues and Business Partners,
As we turn the page on a very unexpected 2020, I am grateful for our collective resilience and humbled by our shared new perspectives on life.
My colleagues and I have the great honor of serving the most exceptional clients in the United States, many of which have had the unimaginable challenge of keeping our society afloat during the pandemic. They are our heroes. We work with manufacturers of life-saving equipment, schools that are educating our children from afar, technology companies that enable the safety of work-from-home and hospitals with full ICUs and exhausted employees. To our clients: all of us at First American have profound respect for the work you do in fulfilling your missions, whether it is saving lives or livelihoods. We deeply appreciate each of you. Thank you.
At First American, we help our clients complete strategic projects that enable them to do great things. In fiscal 2020, we welcomed more new clients to First American than in any other year in our company’s history. We funded $1.48 billion in new business volume, our 10th consecutive record-breaking year. Our business success is due entirely to the hard work and dedication of our talented colleagues. When the pandemic began and we transitioned to work-from-home, they did not miss a beat. They continued to serve clients and just as important, support one another.
The challenges of keeping our families healthy, teaching our children at home, and missing in-person connections are very real. First American has always been a place with genuine people that like and respect one another and want to see each other succeed. This year, the stories of colleagues leaning on one another have been heartwarming. The crises of 2020 have revealed the true character of our people. I have never been more inspired to work beside this incredible group of professionals.
Our bold vision is to become the best company to work for and the best company to work with. Our business success enables us to invest in our people, which resulted in several awards in 2020:
- Best Companies to Work For in New York (#1)
- FORTUNE 30 Best Small/Medium Workplaces in New York (#2)
- FORTUNE 100 Best Medium Sized Workplaces in U.S. (#22)
- FORTUNE 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials in U.S. (#24)
- Selling Power 50 Best Companies to Sell For (#29)
Our clients also benefit from our success, as it allows us to invest in a truly modern equipment finance experience, unlike anything else in our industry. For years, we have been pioneers in video communications and digital transaction tools. In late 2019 (good timing!), we launched FA | Experience, a new digital platform for clients to manage the mission-critical projects that they finance with us. This incorporates best-in-class visibility, control, and security, combining all the digital tools our clients love under one end-to-end experience. In 2020, over 50% of our clients transitioned onto FA | Experience, complementing the expertise and service they receive from our people. We are a digitally-enabled relationship company and our clients tell us they appreciate this powerful combination. We are committed to improving our technology each quarter, with new features and functionality our clients need to make their projects even more successful.
While we are proud of our success, we recognize that we are only just beginning. We will continue to grow, evolve and transform with the ever-changing needs of our clients. We are fortunate to be a subsidiary of City National Bank, which is a Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) company. We are proud to be a part of such incredible institutions that share our commitment to clients and colleagues. With the resources we have today, our future has truly never been brighter.
Across our country and across the world, 2020 has taught us all so much. We have learned to slow down, be grateful, appreciate diversity, enjoy the small things, cherish relationships, give generously and perhaps most of all, treasure our health. Despite being apart, we have become closer over the past year and collectively, we have never been stronger. I am grateful to work beside a remarkable, resilient group of people. I sincerely appreciate the amazing journey we have been on and look forward to the exciting future we are building together.