2020 CEO Letter


2020 CEO Letter

January 2020

To First American’s Clients, Colleagues and Business Partners,

My colleagues and I have the great fortune of serving many of the most exceptional clients in the United States.  Their organizations educate our children, improve patient outcomes, create American jobs and lead astounding innovations.  They are changing our world.  As our clients work to fulfill their missions, we at First American are all honored to play a small role in their success.  We will never take the trust they place in us for granted.

In late 2019, First American surpassed a significant milestone.  Due to strong 23% growth in new business volume, our portfolio surpassed $2 billion for the first time.  To put this growth into perspective, it took us 22 years to achieve $1 billion and just 3 years to surpass $2 billion.  Our business success is due exclusively to the hard work and dedication of my talented colleagues.  Their focus on delivering “best-in-class human and digital experiences” resulted in more new clients choosing First American in 2019 than any year in our history.  They inspire me each day.

Of course, our colleagues all share in our business success.  In 2019, we expanded our parental leave, enhanced our daycare benefit, doubled volunteer time off (VTO) and delivered a record profit sharing contribution to each colleague.  We supported dozens of colleagues in obtaining their Certified Leasing & Finance Professional (CLFP) designation and funded a record number of M.B.A. scholarships through our FA Scholars program.  Our investments into our digital workplace ensure that each colleague can work at the top of their skillset and remove any drudgery from their day.  We believe we have the best talent in our industry, so naturally, the best talent deserves the best tools.  Our focus on creating a great workplace resulted in several awards in 2019:

  • Best Companies to Work For in New York (#1)
  • FORTUNE 30 Best Small/Medium Workplaces in Finance/Insurance in U.S. (#1)
  • FORTUNE 100 Best Medium Sized Workplaces in U.S. (#11)
  • FORTUNE 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials in U.S. (#11)
  • Selling Power 50 Best Companies to Sell For (#30)

But that only tells half the story.  In addition to our colleagues, our clients benefit from our success.  In 2019, we launched FA | Experience, a new digital platform for clients to manage the mission-critical projects that they finance with us.  Incorporating best-in-class visibility, control and security, FA | Experience combines all the digital tools our clients have come to love under one end-to-end platform.  Since many clients rely on us to finance large, complex projects, it also adds critical project management functionality that is only available at First American.  It’s 2020 after all, and the process for financing projects shouldn’t feel like 2010.

As we’ve turned the page on the decade behind us, my colleagues and I are passionately focused on the future.  The world of financial services continues to evolve and we’re choosing to be at the forefront.  This is easy for companies to say and extremely difficult to do.  It requires every colleague in every role to embrace the fact that the needs of clients will be different tomorrow than they are today.  The path that led to yesterday’s achievements won’t be effective in the world ahead of us.  And even the way work gets done will shift dramatically as new technologies enter our workplace.  This requires each of us to evolve personally and individually get better each day.  Collectively, we are committed to this and I know we’re up to the challenge.
I am so proud of what our team has accomplished; however, we are only just beginning.  First American is a subsidiary of City National Bank, which is a Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) company.  We are proud to be a part of institutions that share our passion for serving clients and accomplishing great things.  With the resources we have today, our future has truly never been brighter.

In closing this message, I cannot stress enough how grateful I am to work beside a remarkable group of genuine people.  I deeply appreciate the amazing journey we have been on and look forward to the exciting future we are building together.


Alan Sikora

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First American Commercial Bancorp, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of City National Bank. Deposit products and services are offered by City National Bank Member FDIC. City National Bank is a subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada. For California clients: Loans made or arranged pursuant to a California Finance Lenders Law license. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Additional terms apply and can be found by visiting faef.com/terms.

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