Following a tumultuous week for the banking sector, regulators installed Tim Mayopoulos, a financial executive with a record of guiding firms through crisis events, to helm collapsed Silicon Valley Bank as it navigates an uncertain future.
“I look forward to getting to know the clients of Silicon Valley Bank,” Mayopolous wrote in a letter to clients Monday, according to Business Insider. “I come to this role with humility. I also come to this role with experience in these kinds of situations.”
Federal regulators took over the Santa Clara, California-based regional bank Friday in an attempt to stave off contagion fears after depositors, spooked over a March 8 disclosure that the firm had suffered a $1.8 billion loss, tried to withdraw more than $42 billion in one day.
By Sunday, regulators announced all SVB deposits would be safe, and on Monday, tapped Mayopoulos to steer the largest bank to fail since the 2007-08 financial crisis.
Mayopoulos is expected to bring to SVB a level of calm he demonstrated during critical times at both Bank of America and Fannie Mae.
Mayopoulos served as BofA’s general counsel from 2004 to 2008, before heading to Fannie Mae. He became CEO of the government-controlled mortgage insurer in 2012.
“He is cool as a cucumber,” Brian Brooks, who served as Fannie Mae’s general counsel when Mayopoulos was its CEO, told The New York Times.
“Going through the financial crisis at Bank of America during all the crazy stuff that happened, he was the guy whose demeanor never changed,” said Brooks, who was acting chief of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in 2020 and 2021.
In a tweet Tuesday, Ram Ahluwalia, CEO of investment adviser Lumida Wealth Management, called Mayopoulos “an extraordinary selection.”
“Tim understands [venture capital] & FinTech,” Ahluwalia wrote. “[H]e understands the SV culture. Customers can relate to him. He is a tech-forward, serious but not stodgy banker.”
In a statement Tuesday, he aimed to take that appeal to clients, telling them it was “business as usual,” and urging startup founders who left the bank amid its collapse to return.
“If you, your portfolio companies, or your firm moved funds within the past week, please consider moving some of them back as part of a secure deposit diversification strategy,” Mayopoulos said.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which selected Mayopoulos to steer the bank through its crisis, has apparently had its eyes on the executive since at least 2017, according to The New York Times.
Mayopoulos was on a list of “seasoned financial services professionals” whom the agency could call on in the event that leadership needed to be replaced during a bank takeover, an FDIC spokesperson told the Times.
Most recently, Mayopoulos served as president of cloud-based mortgage software fintech Blend from 2019 until this year. He remains on the board of Blend and LendingClub, according to his LinkedIn profile. He joined the board of the LendingClub shortly after the company’s CEO and founder, Renaud Laplanche resigned in 2016.