BY JAMES FARRELL
For Clive White, banking was in his blood.
“My father was a branch manager for a small bank,” he said. “So, I guess I had that sort of influence when I was young.”
Today, White is a relationship manager for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, working with small and mid-sized businesses in the outer boroughs as part of Bank of America’s Outer Boroughs Market and helping them to access capital as well as providing financial solutions. And while his experience as the son of a banker may have influenced that decision, his experience as a lifetime New Yorker and the son of an immigrant—his mother is from the Dominican Republic and his father hails from Barbados—has also played a role.
“The main thing that I like about what I do now is I’m able to use a couple of different skills to help businesses grow,” he said. “I’m pretty well versed in New York City and all the different cultures that it comes with.”
White grew up in Harlem, but went to school at St. John’s University from 2001 to 2005 and has lived in Queens ever since. He majored in business management and after taking an interest in financing, he began working part-time as a teller. He earned his MBA from Baruch College in 2012. He began working with Bank of America in 2006 and, ultimately, became a relationship manager last year through the support of Bank of America’s internal networking group, the Black Professionals Group. White is now the finance chairman of the New York Chapter of that same group.
“There are chapters all over the country,” White explained. “What each chapter tries to do is just help Bank of America be a more inclusive and diverse organization.”
That involves hosting cultural and networking events.
The most rewarding part of that position, White said, is being able to see “from a high level” how diverse Bank of America already is.
In his role as a relationship manager, White gets the unique opportunity to help the local businesses that make up the borough he calls home. Some of his most rewarding experiences have been accommodating hardworking business owners who are often too busy to stay on top of their finances.
“They’re always running around,” he said. “It is pretty cool to be able to live in Queens and then be able to get up and work in the area that I live in now.”
In one recent case—he wasn’t authorized to go into specifics—he managed to get a now-satisfied client on board, even though they were often too busy to respond to emails or stay in contact. For White, that meant he would need to go the extra mile, so he visited them in person to talk to them about their needs.
“They thanked me and said that if it weren’t for me being persistent, then they never would have been able to come on as a client,” he said.
Reach James Farrell at (718) 357-7400 x 127, firstname.lastname@example.org or @farrellj329.