Alice Gao, Senior Vice President of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, discusses ICBC’s global reach, its U.S. lending program, and recent deals in the video below.
Alice spoke with David Sudeck, a senior partner in the JMBM Global Hospitality Group®, as part of our video interview series on hotel finance and investment opportunities in 2015.
A transcript follows the video.
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David Sudeck: We’re here at the Meet the Money® Conference 2015, which is the 25th Annual Hotel Investment Conference for JMBM. I’m sitting here with Alice Gao, Senior Vice President and Head of Commercial Banking with ICBC. Thank you for joining us. Nice to see you.
Alice Gao: Hi David, thank you for inviting me.
David Sudeck: Thank you, and thank you for the opportunity to work with you as well.
Alice Gao: Same here.
David Sudeck: It’s wonderful. So, how are you enjoying the conference so far?
Alice Gao: So far, very good. I’m really enjoying it. I’ve met a lot of people. The information I receive here is valuable.
David Sudeck: Yes.
Alice Gao: And the networking opportunities are invaluable.
Alice Gao of ICBC and David Sudeck of JMBM
David Sudeck: Thank you very much. I saw you speak on a panel earlier today, and you did a great job. So, tell me about that panel–I’m curious to hear what you thought about the panel, the topic, the audience.
Alice Gao: The panel and topic are very catered to the audience. It’s bread and butter about finance. And I think the audience comes to see where to meet the money, and what our sweet spot is. And I briefly introduced ICBC as a whole. ICBC, as you know, is the largest bank in the world…
David Sudeck: That is amazing.
Alice Gao: …by total asset size and market capitalization. As of 2014, we have total assets of over $3.2 trillion.
David Sudeck: Trillion.
Alice Gao: And we have about eighteen thousand branches global, covering over 40 countries so far.
David Sudeck: So you must be very busy.
Alice Gao: Yes, we’re very busy. But in the U.S., we started our operation a few years ago, and right now we have 15 locations, well-spread on the east coast and west coast to service customers’ needs.
David Sudeck: So what is your personal focus in terms of territory and product type?
Alice Gao: We do not have geographic restrictions. We can lend anything inside the United States. Outside of the United States we can refer to our parent bank, or affiliate bank in the ICBC network. But in the United States, we don’t have geographic restrictions. We can lend anything if the property is within the United States.
David Sudeck: So without disclosing anything confidential, of course, can you give us an idea of what type of loans you’ve funded recently, what you’ve recently closed?
Alice Gao: We recently closed a large hotel construction loan, and we are working on a bridge finance for stabilizing an apartment building in the Los Angeles area.
David Sudeck: Okay.
Alice Gao: And we are also funded a condo construction. Besides commercial real estate lending we mostly focus on trade finance. The bank has a full array of business products.
David Sudeck: Interesting.
Alice Gao: We have deposits, loans and most impressive, we have a global cash management and an international settlement. We do a lot of trade finance as well.
David Sudeck: Got it. Do you do any furniture, fixtures and equipment financing as well?
Alice Gao: We do have this product but last year we didn’t do any because we just don’t have the opportunity yet.
David Sudeck: Okay, we’ll have to change that.
Alice Gao: Yes.
David Sudeck: Bring you more opportunities. Is there anything else you’d like to focus on while you are here at the conference? Are you hoping to meet contacts? What’s your goal while you’re here?
Alice Gao: We certainly are very welcome and received by the audience and the participants. I was very busy. People tried to talk to me and talk about their deals so I have probably close to 50 business cards right now.
David Sudeck: Very impressive.
Alice Gao: And we’re going to follow-up next week. I think we will be really busy.
David Sudeck: That’s fantastic. Really appreciate it. Is there anything else you want to tell our audience?
Alice Gao: I think as ICBC launches in the U.S. market, we welcome all the opportunities. We are very flexible. We can work on your transactions and understand your needs, and help you to reach your goals.
David Sudeck: Thank you Alice!
Alice Gao: Thank you.
David Sudeck: We really appreciate your taking the time.
Alice Gao: Thank you David.
David Sudeck: Good to see you.