We’re closing our team member interviews with the funniest guy in the room. Anthony Ramella is whip-smart, witty and quick on his feet. Best of all, he’s really good at what he does. It’s exactly that kind of dexterity you want in your cash management representative.
He’s also eminently knowledgeable, possessing repositories of information about multiple areas of the bank and related industries, such as real estate and accounting. Not too bad for a graduate student from New York who fell into cash management by accident, we’d say!
Ask anyone. Anthony is the real deal and the best partner and advocate business owners could have. He concentrates on building relationships with his customers, identifying their pain points, and solving their problems. He stands apart from the crowd because he never engages in a customer interaction asking himself “what’s in it for me?”
He’s committed not only to his customers, but also to the bank—so committed, in fact, that he agreed to don a bee costume for our 175th anniversary celebration. But you’ll have to ask him for the details.
We’ll talk more about his powerful networking skills next week, but for now, you can hear from him about his particular approach to cash management.
AR: I have been with Provident just over a year. I began my cash management career in 1996 in NYC.
AR: When I was in graduate school, I met a fellow student who managed a bank’s lockbox services in-house. When I asked what that was, he gave me the most detailed answer imaginable. I found the product so intriguing, I visited his site the next day.
During the tour, he asked me if I would like to work for him, fielding customer service questions and ensuring the ongoing merger went smoothly. Since I was graduating in a week and my career path was up in the air, I accepted his invitation.
I spent the next two weeks learning the entire process, from sorting the bags of mail, to processing payments, retrieving copies of checks and, of course, speaking with customers. My colleagues termed this crash course “baptism by fire.”
What I thought would be a short-term assignment lasted over a year. It took 18 months to complete the merger. When it was done, I decided it was time to see what other cash management products were out there, so I left NYC and crossed the river back into NJ.
I applied for a cash management officer position at a small bank. When the hiring manager discovered that I had experience with lockbox, he said, “Well, you understand the most complicated product. We can teach you the rest.”
So that is how a student took a tour in a NYC bank and landed a career in cash management.
AR: My duties are divided into two main categories. The first is assisting existing customers, working to tailor custom solutions that best fit their needs.
The second is working closely with branch, area, and relationship managers to find new opportunities. I view myself as a strategic partner with these areas of the bank, rather than simply a provider of product. Never do I want to be viewed as someone on the sidelines.
If cash management is introduced early in the customer acquisition process, its true value can be better realized and put to better use.
AR: In order for your business to function, you need to collect funds and distribute funds. That is what I help you do. The more efficiently you accomplish these two tasks, the smoother your business will run.
AR: If you own a company that manufactures widgets, that is what you should be spending the majority of your time doing: manufacturing widgets! You shouldn’t be struggling with your banking. Let me streamline your banking processes so you can get back to what you do best. My goal is to either save you time or money. In many cases, I can do both.
AR: Lockbox will always be my favorite because it is the product I cut my teeth on. It’s been around since the 1930s, and although consumers are writing fewer checks, the lockbox is just as important today as it was nearly 85 years ago. Sure, technology has improved, but the basic premise is the same.
AR: De-stress, what is that? I have been known to hit the kitchenette for some comfort food or to huddle up with my peers to work through the problem at hand. If I feel really stressed, I go to the vending machine for a Snickers.
AR: Cash management officers are expected to know more than just their suite of products. We are uniquely positioned to interact with all areas of the bank: legal, retail, lending, marketing, etc. Since someone can’t major in cash management, the only way to become a cash management professional is to learn on the job.