GRAND RAPIDS — KeyBank intends to plant a flag in the West Michigan market with the opening of a downtown Grand Rapids office later this year or in early 2023.
The office planned for the ground floor of the Waters Building at Ottawa Avenue and Lyon Street will become the Cleveland-based KeyBank’s first permanent location in Grand Rapids and replace temporary quarters downtown.
“By having a permanent place downtown, I think it shows that we have a strong commitment in West Michigan,” said Regional President Michael Sytsma, a veteran commercial lender in West Michigan who joined KeyBank a year ago from Huntington Bank. “We’re here to grow and to serve. We will be part of the community.”
Sytsma describes KeyBank as a “Main Street bank with Wall Street resources.” Since opening the temporary Grand Rapids location last year, KeyBank has been building a team that includes business and commercial bankers and other staff.
The new Grand Rapids office will house commercial and business lenders, a mortgage lender, a private banker, treasury management, credit analysts, a U.S. Small Business Administration lending specialist and a health care lending specialist. The bank plans to add three or four more people by the end of 2022, then hire another five to eight people in 2023, Sytsma said.
Since entering the West Michigan market, KeyBank has been working to build awareness and calling on prospective clients, and so far has built a book of business that is “ahead of our goals for the year,” Sytsma told MiBiz.
“We’ve had nice success. People who have worked with our bankers in the past and have had positive experiences with how we serve and the value they add have sought to follow us here,” he said. “The ability to have relationships with the team of people that we’ve brought over is a very helpful aid. That’s provided a number of opportunities.”
Owned by KeyCorp (NYSE: KEY), KeyBank traces its roots back nearly 200 years and has more than 1,000 offices in 15 states. The institution ranks as a top 20 bank in the U.S. with more than $187 billion in assets and $145.8 billion in deposits. KeyCorp in July reported $981 million in net income as of midyear, and $504 million for the second quarter.
In Michigan, KeyBank has 19 offices, primarily in Southeast Michigan, that as of June 2021 had combined deposits of $2.19 billion, according to the latest FDIC Summary of Deposits that lists the bank as the 12th largest operating in Michigan by deposit market share.
In entering the West Michigan market with the temporary office a year ago, KeyBank targeted small and middle-market companies for commercial lending, business banking, treasury management and other financial services, Sytsma said.
“West Michigan is a rapidly growing market. It’s an attractive market based on growth, based on the businesses here, the labor and the stability,” Sytsma said. “We have a diverse background in terms of the types of manufacturing and operating companies, and there’s a lot of entrepreneurship and family-owned businesses. When we look at being in Michigan, we really wanted to be in West Michigan as well because it’s such a big part of the Michigan economy.”
The market Sytsma oversees covers a wide footprint geographically, from Lansing to Grand Rapids and the lakeshore, north to Traverse City, and south to Kalamazoo, Battle Creek and St. Joseph.
KeyBank could open additional offices in the future as it grows in Western Michigan, including markets away from Grand Rapids such as Kalamazoo and Traverse City. Footprint expansion will hinge on how well the bank gains business and grows across the broader market and will “be dictated by the marketplace,” Sytsma said.
“It’s largely going to be dictated on our ability to grow our business in those markets and finding the right talent. We’ve been pretty selective with the team members we’ve been adding,” he said. “We’re going to just take steps and find out what the market really has available for us. As we continue to have people interested in joining our team, the question really becomes how long before we might need additional space.
“From a retail perspective, more and more, our digital solutions are the ways people are engaging with the bank, but we’re always evaluating whether or not and where we should expand from a retail perspective. Is that the right move? How do we serve our clientele the best?”