We are thrilled to announce that Patrick L. Ryan, First Bank’s President & CEO, was honored in a class of recipients by Ernst & Young (EY) as the 2022 Entrepreneur of the Year for New Jersey! The judges reviewed several criteria, including entrepreneurial spirit, growth, purpose and impact. He is now a finalist for EY’s National Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
“On behalf of our growing team, I am grateful for this prestigious award,” said Pat. “But First Bank has never been about one person. Together, we are building a great company that gives team members a sense of pride in their work as they add value to our communities every day. While we have pride in our accomplishments, we have more strides to reach our potential.”
Ryan was part of an investment group that recapitalized First Bank with $20 million in late 2008. Prior to the acquisition, he gained valuable entrepreneurial insight in mergers and acquisitions at Goldman Sachs and as a management consultant at Bain. Based on its most recent quarterly filing, First Bank has $2.6 billion in assets.
Once Pat made the difficult decision to leave more lucrative professions to follow his passion, he has never looked back. His vision was clear: Build a community bank focused on providing best-in-class services and access to capital for business owners and entrepreneurs in the New York City to Philadelphia corridor.
To create long-term value for all stakeholders, Ryan leveraged a simple value proposition: “We’re relationship-focused community bankers,” he said. As a result, First Bank is nimble, flexible, creative and responsive.
After First Bank established its value proposition, it created a healthy, balanced, and aspirational work environment where people want to provide great service. Then, the community bank created a symbiotic “win-win” relationship with key players and organizations in the community where team members can help their “neighbors” and they can reciprocate. To incentivize success and recognize great achievement, First Bank has promoted more than 50 employees, or 25% of its team members, in the last two years.
Like a dependable neighbor, First Bank also has taken action during times of uncertainty.
During the darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ryan made the most of his purpose: Doing well by doing good. The community bank helped save more than 750 small businesses with critical Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) relief, totaling almost $300 million to support Main Street businesses.
And First Bank has done well by doing good. Net income increased 82% to $35.4 million in 2021, compared to $19.4 million in 2020. Total deposits increased 11% in 2021 while lending added $151 million from non-PPP-related opportunities.
From year-end 2007, First Bank’s first year of operation, the Bank has delivered a 41% compounded annual growth rate in total assets.
EY will announce its Entrepreneur of the Year 2022 National Awards in November.