November 18, 2019

SPONSORED: IDB Bank, It’s Personal

Uri Levin, IDB President/CEO

The following post is a sponsored advertisement for IDB Bank.

More than 500 guests attended Israel Discount Bank of New York (IDB Bank)’s client appreciation event at the Beverly Hills Hilton on Monday, Sept. 23. The event celebrated the New York-based private and commercial bank’s 70 years in business. 

This annual reception was a gesture of the Bank’s commitment to its clients throughout the Jewish and Israeli community, as well as the greater Los Angeles area. During the event, clients heard a thoughtful address from the Bank’s outgoing president and CEO Uri Levin, who has since become the newly appointed CEO of IDB’s Tel Aviv-based parent, Discount Bank. The new Israeli Consul General Dr. Hillel Newman was an honored guest in attendance, who greeted the attendees and congratulated the Bank for its achievements.

Following the event, I sat down with three IDB Bank executives at their full-service branch in Downtown Los Angeles. The interview was attended by Kiyoun Kim, executive vice president and California regional manager; Gal Ben-Naim, senior vice president and head of California Private Banking; and Moti Levy, senior vice president and director of California Business Development.

Kim, Ben-Naim and Levy have been working together for more than 12 years as a team, and during that time, they’ve always put clients first. During the interview, we discussed the personal and special relationships they’ve developed with their customers over the years. To them, it is the most rewarding aspect of the job. Their relationships are so close that they often find themselves invited to client events, like Bar Mitzvahs and weddings. These deep relationships allow their team to truly tailor services to each and every client. 

“Our clients know that they can call me or my team and get answers whenever they need us. This is the kind of relationship we have developed over the years,” Kim said. “Nothing is more important than knowing our customers feel supported.”

Two years ago, Uri Levin joined the Bank as President and CEO, what had changed since then?

Kiyoun Kim: “Much has changed. We’re in growth mode, so it’s a very exciting time for IDB. Over the past two years, we’ve been laser-focused on exploring new ways to bring value to our clients. We at IDB aspire to be the best bank for our clients by putting their needs first, offering unwavering personal service, trusted relationships and the expertise of our people.” 

Gal Ben-Naim: “Uri’s focus has made the Bank stronger and more profitable. This last year we recorded the best year in terms of profitability.”

Mr. David Nagel, Mrs. Kiyoun Kim IDB EVP / Regional Manager and Mr. Daniel Nagel

Can you elaborate on the services you offer your clients?

KK: “Our expertise is in commercial banking (including operating companies and real estate), as well as private banking. Many owners/principals of our commercial businesses are also private banking clients. Through some of our new service offerings, we have been able to expand our private banking clientele, providing them with products and tailored solutions which broaden our platform options and offerings. We launch new products on a monthly basis, so our range of products is very diversified. One of our key differentiators is that we offer products and services not found at other banks or are otherwise limited/restricted to access. Also, given our roots and connections, we are able to continuously tap the capital markets and institutions in Israel.”

GBM: “Our wide range of services vary from basic to sophisticated. We can assist with financial deposits, sophisticated investment strategies involving different types of security investments, and anything in between. Our clients are always hearing about new and/or special investments opportunities that are not commonly offered to the general public, including a sizable offering of alternative investment products.”

KK: “In Commercial Banking, we focus on the segments and industries in which we have a high level of expertise. Due to this strategy, we fully understand our clients’ needs, which enables us to provide advice and offer solutions to our customers on a prompt and regular basis. We have a great team of senior and experienced people, who are constantly interacting with clients and essentially act as a one-stop-shop. In California, we are mainly focused on businesses operating in sectors such as: textile, apparel, food and beverage, home furnishings, electronics, healthcare, not-for-profit, among others. And, of course, we are very much involved in financing commercial real estate.”

What sets you apart from other Banks?

KK: “Our slogan is ‘It’s Personal,’ but it means so much more than that. It represents the way we live and the way we conduct business with our clients. That is what makes our bank so special. To that end, we are very invested in our local community, and we fully support any efforts that help make it a better place to live. For example, we recently helped finance the construction of Temple Young Israel of Century City, a synagogue and a Jewish school. We also have many non-profit Jewish charity organizations that work with us and some that have connections to Israel. We are proud to partner with organizations that provide valuable services for the greater good of the community.”

While IDB has many non-Jewish clients and relationships, can you tell me a little bit more about the bank’s connection to Israel?

Moti Levy: “Absolutely. We’re deeply connected to Israel, because that’s where our roots are. Since we’ve opened, we’ve been fortunate enough to work with many Israeli immigrants who have moved to California. Just the other day, we opened a few saving accounts for our clients’ grandchildren, representing our third-generation of customers. We are able to keep our clients throughout the years, often over two and three generations, because we specialize in what we do and we truly care. We not only try to be problem solvers, we also provide a personalized experience.”

You have two branches in Southern California, one in Beverly Hills and the second in Downtown LA. What kind of services do you offer in each branch?

ML: “Both are full-service bank branches and having both locations provide a convenience to our clients to be near both their places of business, as well as their personal residences.”

In a field where good reputation and decades of seniority makes a difference, IDB is an industry standout. The connection to Israel which may have initially attracted clients to the Bank has become a secondary bonus over the years. Its unique, personal service, professional knowledge and attractive investment opportunities are the qualities that provide value for clients, and it’s the reason behind the deep relationships they’ve built throughout the years. 

To learn more about IDB, please visit their website. You can also visit the Downtown Los Angeles branch at 888 South Figueroa Street, Suite 550, or the Beverly Hills branch at 9401 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 600.