When it comes to making an impact on one of his dozens of clients, Justin Hickey believes problem solving is his key attribute.
In fact, Hickey, a vice president of commercial lending at BancorpSouth, says that skill is something every banker should possess. He reasons that business owners don’t have the time to think about advancements in banking technology and the related products that roll out each month.
“That is our job as bankers – to get in front of our customers and prospects to outline how our products fit with the goals of their business and how their business operates,” he says.
For Hickey, the work includes helping clients open new franchise locations in different cities, build new offices and warehouses from the ground up, and obtain U.S. Small Business Administration financing when traditional funding is unavailable.
“SBA financing, while much more paperwork and a more lengthy process, is a great tool for companies and business owners that want to expand by opening a new location, buying a business or competitor, or even [adding] lines of credit,” he says.
Hickey took on his role at BancorpSouth in 2017 after leaving Commerce Bank, where he started his career in 2010 as a senior credit analyst. He was named as assistant vice president in commercial banking at Commerce in 2013 and managed $45 million in client business when he left.
Now, Hickey is on his way to rebuilding his management portfolio, at last count at $35 million at BancorpSouth.
Commercial banking is the sector where Hickey says he finds fulfillment in building relationships with business owners by helping them achieve their goals or seeing them through tough times to continue operations.
“The Springfield market has a terrific entrepreneurial heartbeat and, in this industry, you meet so many wonderful and different groups of people who all have interesting backstories and how they have become successful,” he says.
With his customers, Hickey says he has the types of relationships that demand open communication, which provide the opportunity to build a lifetime of trust.
“In this job, you have to realize that the people you are dealing with on a day-to-day basis created a business or manage a business that they are truly passionate about,” he says. “They expect me to play devil’s advocate to be sure they have thought of every scenario, and in the end, they always know my real opinion on the matter.”
Hickey also has built relationships as a current member of The Network, the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce’s organization for young professionals.
Since 2016, Hickey has served as a board member for The Kitchen Foundation Inc., helping gather sponsorships and auction items for annual fundraising events. Other past community involvement includes membership of Rotary Club of Springfield North, Humane Society of Southwest Missouri and Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks.
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