Contributed by Ron Johnson, CEO Central Bancorp
Life is about choices.
Every day we face choices – big and small. Inevitably we convince ourselves that the big decisions, the big choices are the ones that define our lives. However, I contend that it is the great multitude of small choices that shape our paths; those countless little decisions form the foundation from which we make life’s most impactful decisions.
Certainly the history of Central Bancorp is a collection of many decisions. When my partner and I established The Corundum Group in 1992, we saw how the needs of high-net-worth families were misunderstood and under served by conventional financial firms. We pointedly chose to establish a business driven by client needs rather than profit margins. Today, The Corundum Group serves a wide variety of families and manages over $1 billion in assets, and we continue to choose each day to focus on client service over the bottom line. Sticking to our direction takes focus and discipline but has served us, and our clients, very well.
Our mortgage company, CB&T Mortgage, chose to avoid products that eventually undermined the real estate market. While we may have missed incremental revenues during the boom, we maintained healthy relationships with our borrowers and investors during the crisis. When we decided to enter the property and casualty insurance business, we purchased the oldest and most respected agency in town. Faster or cheaper acquisition opportunities were available, but we chose a route of building our brand and our business with an intense focus on the client. The firm we acquired was steeped in this client-centric philosophy, and it persists among our growing CB Insurance team today. Finally, it is not typical for a new community bank to offer the breadth and depth of talent you find at Central Bank & Trust. Here again, we decided to invest in our future by hiring the very best professionals from inside and outside our market.
We are far from perfect, but we do believe that a strong track record of making the right decisions has positioned us to come out of the Great Recession in a solid position to serve our community. If you want my advice in terms of where to choose to take your financial business, well, I’m sure you can imagine what I might tell you. And to all those who have already chosen to partner with the Central Bancorp family, I thank you.
Here’s to a sustained recovery and a great rest of 2011.