James Herbert (MBA ‘69), CEO of First Republic Bank, Shares Banking Industry Insights with Professor Ingo Walter and Alumni

On March 8, James Herbert joined Professor Ingo Walter and more than 60 NYU Stern alumni, students and faculty for a conversation about the business philosophies that have informed his illustrious banking career.

Mr. Herbert began his career in Chase’s credit training program in New York and earned his MBA at Stern, then located at Trinity Place, in the evenings. He found that Stern’s curriculum was immediately applicable to his work at Chase.

While working as an industrial banker in California in the early 1980s, Mr. Herbert received multiple requests for jumbo home loans from his clients. By focusing on his clients’ needs, Mr. Herbert closed 2500 deals in just 4 years and discovered what is now the core product of First Republic Bank, which he founded in 1985.

Excellent client service is among First Republic’s core values. The company holds several focus groups every quarter to understand how to provide the best service possible. This client-driven approach has worked well for First Republic, with the majority of growth coming from existing clients and their referrals. “We hire people that we feel are going to be good at service, not sales,” remarked Herbert.

Professor Walter opened the discussion to questions from the alumni in the audience, who were eager to learn more about Mr. Herbert’s approach to leading First Republic in a competitive business environment, his views on company culture and his thoughts on the impact of mortgage finance on the housing market.

Please see highlights from this event and take a look at events that are coming up.