Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) has become the biggest United States lender to collapse – since the 2008 financial crisis – following a week of the bank’s failed attempt at raising capital of over $2 billion, compounded by the depositors’ move to rush towards a cash exodus as anxiety over the bank’s health spread. In the wake of the crisis, the company’s chief Greg Becker on Friday sent a video message to the employees as he spoke about the “incredibly difficult” 48 hours which led the company to its fall.
Who is Greg Becker?
1)Becker, Silicon Valley Bank’s chief executive officer, joined the company three decades ago as a loan officer. He played a prominent role in steering the lender, valued at over $40 billion till last year, through the 2008 global financial crisis and was appointed the president and CEO of SVB Financial Group in 2011. The bank served mostly technology workers and venture capital-backed companies.
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2)Before taking up that role, Becker co-founded SVB Capital, the company’s investment arm. From 2014-2017, he also served as the chairman of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. The father of five has also been a member of the US Commerce Department’s Digital Economy Board of Advisors for a year from 2016 to 2017.
3)As per the bank’s website, he graduated from Indiana University with a bachelor’s degree in business. After that, he joined a bank that dealt with what he called “traditional companies”. He joined Silicon Valley Bank later, after his manager quit the earlier company for the lender, founded in 1983.
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4)Endorsed by the Santa Clara based bank as the “champion of the innovation economy”, the banker on his SVB journey, had described it as the “highest of highs and the lowest of lows”. Following the crisis, Becker told his employees “it’s with an incredibly heavy heart that I’m here to deliver this message,” he said in a video seen by Reuters. “I can’t imagine what was going through your head and wondering, you know, about your job, your future.”
5)Becker, who served at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco as among its board of directors, departed the board Friday following the crisis. Merely 24 hours before the sudden halt of the company’s operations, Becker had personally assured the clients their money was safe. One of the reasons it suffered the situation was because of the overall turmoil in the technology and crypto start-up world due to reasons including mass layoffs, and economic slowdown.
(With inputs from Reuters, Bloomberg)
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