President & Ceo of Coral Gables-based Intercredit Bank
Simon Cruz has spent 38 years in banking, ranging from community institutions to international lending. His career in international banking started with Chase Manhattan Bank, where he worked in New York, Brazil, and Barbados. He moved to Florida in the mid-’80s and continued working for Chase in their South Florida Commercial Real Estate division. He oversaw real estate lending for Ocean Bank in the early ’90s, where he helped revitalize Miami Beach by financing the Delano South Beach Hotel, the Raleigh Hotel, the Van Dyke Cafe, and other art deco properties. After stints running Millennium Capital and Plus International Bank, in 2010 Cruz became president and CEO of the Bank of Coral Gables, and since 2011 has been president and CEO of Intercredit Bank.
Simon was recently elected to a three-year term on the Board of Directors of the American Bankers Association (ABA). He has served in various roles at the ABA for the last six years, previously as an ABA Community Bankers Council member. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Florida Bankers Association and the Florida Export Finance Corporation. Under his direction, Intercredit Bank has grown in the last two years from $373 million to $520 million in assets, following its purchase by Ecuadorian businessman and banker Dr. Fidel Egas. Plans are to grow the bank to between $1 billion and $2 billion in assets.
What He Says
“We are unique in the sense that we are a community bank, but we are comfortable dealing with Latin America,” he says. “We fill a niche in the community with small businesses and small real estate investors…. We are able to fill that niche for the smaller investor with everything from $500,000 to $8 million loans, and anything in between.” On the other hand, says Cruz, “We define ourselves as a community bank with a twist because we do a lot of trade finance in Latin America… We also specialize in non-resident aliens who are coming here – the Latin American buyer who wants a home here in the U.S.”