CEO and founder
Trevor Burgess had a well-established career at Morgan Stanley when he was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug — big time. He risked his entire life savings in 2009 and started C1 Bank with $15 million in capital from himself and his business partners.
But the story doesn’t quietly end there. They have had to turn the bank around during one of the worst financial crises in history. By rigorously maintaining professional benchmarks and only making short-term loans, rather than making industry loan terms, C1 Bank has grown in assets, has expanded into 21 branches and the employees now number 205.
Burgess is not afraid to try innovative methods to differentiate C1 Bank from its competition. While some banks were announcing a $5 monthly fee on a debit card, Burgess advertised a program where his bank instead would pay its debit card users $5 per month. Another promotion gave away a brand new Mercedes to anyone depositing $1 million for a five-year CD.
To take a new approach to a job fair, Burgess created one based on “speed dating.” Held in 2010 when many banks weren’t even responding to resumes, it involved one-on-one five-minute interviews for job candidates with C1 Bank executives. As a result, the bank hired two employees who became two of the top three sales associates.
Innovation infiltrates the rest of the company as well. The C1 Bank headquarters has no doors or secretaries separating employees from one another. The associates are judged by the value they bring to the company, not by if they fit the industry mold or not. Each employee is made to feel like an owner of the company, and that effort pays off in more pride and responsibility when it comes to success.
Among the honors Burgess has received is the “Equality Means Business” award, designed highlight employers who understand and make a commitment to a diverse workforce core.
How to reach: C1 Bank, www.c1bank.com