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Taking Care of Business for 100 Years

Posted on 1/1/2011 by

Since 1911, Oritani Bank has persevered through two world wars, the Great Depression, stock market crashes and various financial crises including the current “Great Recession”. So it should come as no surprise that Oritani remains rock solid as the country tries to find its way out of the economic troubles of the last few years. Based in the Township of Washington, NJ, located in Bergen County, NJ, Oritani celebrates its centennial on March 11, 2011. The bank approaches this important milestone in the strongest financial condition in its long history with the assets and capital to continue its current pace of growth.

“Our upcoming 100th anniversary arrives on the heels of a very successful and transitional year for us,” said Kevin J. Lynch, Chairman, President and CEO of Oritani Bank. “We are looking forward to a new chapter in our history as a fully public company with a strong capital ratio.”  In June 2010, Oritani completed its second step conversion from a Mutual Holding Company ownership structure to become a fully public company. This conversion represented an important step to consolidate the bank’s position as one of NJ’s premier community banks and increased the bank’s equity capital by more than $400 million.

After the conversion, Oritani’s total assets reached $2.48 billion including $643 million in equity capital for an outstanding 26% capital ratio. Revenues reached $105 million up from $88 million in 2009 and earnings jumped to $8.4 million from 2009’s $5.6 million. The conversion was the completion of a transition that began in 2007 when Oritani sold 30% of its stock to depositors.

While many financial institutions applied for federal bailout money, Oritani is thriving after saying “no thanks” to federal assistance. In peer group comparisons based on FDIC data and prepared by bank research groups, Oritani’s profitability, efficiency and asset quality is consistently favorable compared to its competitors. Prudent underwriting, principled lending and a dedication to providing customers with the highest level of service have helped Oritani avoid the pitfalls of many of its competitors. A perfect example of this is Oritani’s refusal to originate or hold sub-prime loans. By avoiding the poor lending practices that have negatively impacted others, Oritani is in a position to actively pursue new commercial loans. The bank’s top notch lending officers understand the concerns facing today’s real estate owners and operators and are eager to create sound business solutions to help clients realize their short and long-term financial goals.

Beyond traditional services like checking, money market, CDs, home mortgage and equity loans, Oritani is a recognized leader in the commercial real estate industry with over $1.5 billion in loans throughout NJ, NY and PA. Oritani’s commercial loans range from $2M to $25M, with a significant part of its portfolio dedicated to the NYC marketplace.  The bank recently opened two new commercial lending offices in New York City and New City, NY.

With commercial real estate professionals more closely scrutinizing financial institutions before taking on large loans, Oritani Bank has emerged as one of the top choices for those seeking a well-capitalized, stable and profitable community bank with competitive rates. Mr. Lynch said “We know our communities and we know income producing real estate and how to finance it.”

Other banks may quote a competitive rate, but Oritani provides much more, helping its customers structure a transaction that meets the bank’s rigorous quality standards and then guide that transaction through to approval and the issuance of a commitment letter. It doesn’t stop there either. The expertise provided by Oritani Bank helps its customers navigate through the documentation and due diligence process including the timely ordering of professional appraisals, environmental reports and title work. The bank has many years of commercial lending experience so it knows how to properly manage the process toward concluding your transaction on time.

Oritani has recently been winning additional market share as the big banks and the conduit markets continue to struggle. Oritani has expanded its commercial lending and credit departments to manage this growth and also improved the scope and quality of its commercial lending offerings with highly competitive rates, creative transaction structures and fast turn-around and closing. Oritani is undergoing a major growth spurt.  In 2009, Oritani joined an elite group of New Jersey banks with over $1 billion in deposits. With the recent opening of offices in Emerson, Bergenfield and Jersey City, Oritani now has 22 full service branches throughout Bergen, Hudson and Passaic Counties.

In recent years, Oritani has raised its profile through a concerted marketing effort. In 2008, Oritani changed its name from Oritani Savings Bank to Oritani Bank to better reflect their full range of services launched a major re-branding initiative with a new logo and the tag line, “Taking Care of Business Since 1911.”

In contrast with the many businesses that have recently scaled back their donations, the OritaniBank Charitable Foundation has accelerated its support for worthy causes. Since 2007 the Foundation has awarded over $2 million in grants to organizations that help improve the quality of life for residents in the bank’s service area.

Mr. Lynch credits the bank’s longevity and success to Oritani’s exceptional team and the loyalty of the bank’s customers. While acknowledging that times are still uncertain for the banking and real estate industries, he is confident that Oritani will continue the current positive trend by remaining true to its core philosophies and solid business model.“We look forward to growing even stronger as we enter our second century in business,” said Mr. Lynch. “Our ongoing expansion and increased asset size will allow us to help more local residents and businesses reach their financial goals.”


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