Vice President of Lending Operations

Location:  Little Rock, Arkansas

Southern Bancorp is a different kind of bank. As a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), a special certification designated for institutions that serve predominantly underserved communities, Southern Bancorp combines traditional banking and lending services with financial development tools and public policy advocacy to help families and communities grow stronger. Inspired by the principle that building net worth drives economic opportunity, our mission is to be wealth builders for everyone in the communities we serve, with a focus on low-wealth and un(der)banked populations, as well as an emphasis on Black and Brown individuals. 

Job Summary

The Vice President of Lending Operations is primarily responsible for the Loan Fund’s lending program including, but not limited to: overall portfolio management, asset and credit quality, loan policies, underwriting, product design and implementation, business development, loan production, loan servicing, and marketing; borrowers’ technical assistance programing for small business lending portfolio and collaborating with the SBCP President to develop key partnerships and to raise capital.  This role will lead and manage the SBCP lending team in meeting annual lending goals, asset quality standards and complying with all CDFI Fund rules, regulatory requirements, and other legal and funder obligations while developing a loan portfolio that prioritizes minority and low-wealth borrowers and balances mission with margin.

Key Responsibilities

  • Design and implement financing strategies and products to respond to SBCP’s goals, borrower needs, and market changes, with a focus on minority-owned businesses and borrowers
  • Work with SBCP Board and President to define organizational outcomes and lending goals and regularly monitor and report on progress toward those lending goals
  • Assist the SBCP President with promoting and increasing the Loan Fund profile by developing key external relationships; assist with the Loan Fund’s advocacy and coalition efforts, including providing assistance as needed on partner applications
  • Evaluate and improve lending processes and procedures to ensure efficiency, consistency, and a positive borrower experience
  • Lead the review and update of policies related to underwriting, portfolio management, and loan servicing    
  • Supervise and support the Lenders and Loan Assistants; develop a capacity-building plan for those supervised through various professional/leadership development opportunities
  • Develop and oversee a business development/project pipeline strategy with the Lenders
  • Plan and coordinate the Loan Committee meetings; interact with the Loan Committee Chair as necessary prior to each meeting
  • Maintain strong credit quality through annual loan/borrower reviews, regular monitoring of borrower compliance with loan covenants and repayment provisions, reviewing borrower reports, and conducting periodic site visits with Lenders
  • Mitigate loan portfolio risk through enhanced monitoring, the use of extensions and restructurings, and adjustments to risk ratings and loan loss reserves; develop a strategy for loan work-outs and charge-offs as necessary
  • Negotiate and manage consultant contracts and budgets as related to lending
  • Monitor and report on the SBCP’s loan originations and portfolio performance
  • Assist Lenders with vetting, structuring, and underwriting loan requests; ensure loan requests are consistent with SBCP policies and goals
  • Originate and underwrite loan requests as needed
  • Pursue and maintain relationships with participation lenders; prepare participation agreements, consulting with legal counsel as needed
  • Oversee the loan closing process; review closing documents for accuracy
  • Performs other related duties as required or assigned

Job Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in finance, banking, or business administration is required with advanced degree in business administration or law preferred;
  • Certificate from an accredited lending school and/or a registered NMLS number preferred;
  • A minimum of five years in CDFI industry, community finance or community development lending is required;
  • A minimum of five years of experience lending to minority-owned small businesses and entrepreneurs preferred;
  • Experience working with and utilizing Small Business Administration products and other loan guarantee programs to support small businesses and entrepreneurs;
  • Experience lending to and providing technical assistance in a culturally competent manner to minority-owned small businesses and entrepreneurs;
  • Experience lending to borrowers historically and systemically denied access to credit;
  • Experience providing small dollar consumer loans to low wealth individuals;
  • A minimum of three years of progressive management and supervisory experience is required;
  • Advanced experience in risk management, including handling underwriting and risk management for complex portfolios; 
  • Advanced experience in underwriting consumer and commercial transactions;
  • A minimum of three years experience in program management;
  • Experience raising CDFI loan capital from banks, corporations and/or philanthropic organizations and compiling with their reporting obligations preferred
  • Superior financial analysis and credit evaluation skills for both consumer and commercial transactions,
  • Deep knowledge of the CDFI industry, community development lending and related credit issues
  • Deep knowledge of government lending programs under the CDFI Fund, Small Business Administration and other government agencies,
  • Strong evidence of significant external client contact and business development skills,
  • Strong problem-solving and organizational skills including ability and willingness to balance strategic, lending, and organizational responsibilities
  • Advanced communication skills and writing skills with the ability to prepare clear, accurate, well-organized written reports, memorandums, correspondences, and presentations 
  • Effective verbal communications and presentation skills
  • Strongly self-motivated with an entrepreneurial spirit while able to follow through in completing high-quality, detailed work
  • Commitment to mission driven lending in low to moderate income communities
  • Strong proficiency with Word, Excel and PowerPoint, and comfortable learning new technology platforms
  • Willingness and ability to travel regionally year-round
  • Must possess and maintain current and valid driver’s license and a vehicle with appropriate insurance coverage
  • Ability to speak Spanish preferred

Physical / Sensory Requirements

While performing the duties of this job, the individual is:

  • Regularly required to sit, talk, and hear; reach with hands and arms; and occasionally stand and walk, stoop, kneel or crouch.
  • May be required to lift or move up to 50 pounds occasionally.
  • Regular required to use computers, telephone, and other standard office equipment.

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