By Guillermo Rojas & Victoria Lis Marino
Tulsa, OK- James Sánchez grew up in Texas and moved to Tulsa back in 2009, where after rising through different positions he eventually arrived at Regent Bank, where today he is the link between the financial institution and all those Hispanics looking for a dream that needs a loan, basically a credit officer for the Latin community.
“I used to work at Morgan Stanley as financial assessor,” Sánchez recalled. “I knew that Hispanics had specific needs, but my hands there were tied. That is why I decided to work with different banks — they all had doubts about the potential of Hispanics, and they were not listening to their clients. So, I said to myself, God has put you in this path to change something.”
At Regent Bank, Sánchez’s mission is to provide Hispanics the best possible credit. “This is a privately financed institution, we have an office in Missouri and another one here in Tulsa, but what is best is to know is that the bank’s money is only invested locally, it stays in Tulsa, and that is something I love,” Sánchez’s said. “In our bank we have a commercial approach, loans are designed for small business. We offer a lot of different services that fit every kind of project.”
More than 20% of small and medium businesses in the USA are started by Hispanics, who are entrepreneurs by nature. Tulsa is no exception and like Sánchez confirmed, every day more Hispanics become business owners with the help of a loan.
“When you work with Hispanics you learn that business for them is family, it includes the numbers, but also the clients, and the employees. That is why we have to offer them something appealing to their own approach of starting businesses. Working with them is working with family, and when something happens to one of yours you don’t ask, you just do.”
Sánchez believes the recipe for success is matching education with working experience, something that most young Hispanics have. “Work experience and a solid degree helped me get where I am today,” Sánchez said.
But true success lies within the philanthropic layers of giving to others.
“I like helping people, and especially Hispanics because they really appreciate what we do — I can see it in their faces, and that really touches my heart, which is more important than the money. After that, the help just multiplies,” said Sánchez.
Regent Bank is a member of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and on May 24th they will celebrate a luncheon at the Tulsa Zoo to speak about the seven different formulas essential for business growth. The Chamber of Commerce also operates the Hispanic Leadership Institute, where the new leaders of the city are formed.
“To achieve success one needs to be patient, learn how to listen, how to ask questions and find mentors that can share their own experiences. It is worse not to ask than to ask the wrong question,” advised Sánchez. “If you have education, doors are always open, but if not the game never begins.” (La Semana)