September 21, 2023
Since launching a Boston office two years ago, New Jersey-based OceanFirst Financial Corp's bet on the market has been paying off.
The bank has increased its lending in Boston by 600% over the past two years. And it just brought Boston’s former chief of economic development, John Barros, onto its board, effective Monday, Sept. 18.
Soon after entering the Boston market, OceanFirst’s lender footing in Boston was in the $50 million range. The bank envisions reaching $1 billion or more in assets in the new market within “several years,” bank leaders said in 2021.
Now, the bank says it has $350 million in commitments in Boston market.
“We’re well on our way to getting to a billion,” said OceanFirst CEO Chris Maher in an interview with the Business Journal. “Boston's turned out to be everything we would have hoped it would have been.”
The Boston team has grown over the past two years, and now has five local commercial bankers and two local credit officers based in the Boston office, which is located on 99 Summer St.
Dan Griggs, the Boston regional president for the bank, previously worked at TD Bank as its Eastern Massachusetts market president, and at Citizens Bank before that.
When the bank opened its Boston office, it was focused on commercial lending. Now that the bank has its footing here, it's ready to expand its product set and slowly start to launch new offerings like equipment finance, residential finance and consumer products, Maher said.
Earlier this year, the bank brought on Steve Adamo to lead residential and consumer lending. Adamo previously held positions at Santander Bank as the head of mortgage, home equity, consumer loan operations and consumer underwriting.
“We're kind of getting ready now to enter into the market with the other consumer products and in particular, we'll start with residential lending,” Adamo said.