Happy New Year from Silicon Valley Bank - January 2021

Dear SVB Client,

Happy New Year! I am writing to thank you for choosing SVB as your partner and to share our outlook, including how we are expanding our commitment to help you flourish in 2021.

It was a relief to turn the calendar page on January 1. We weathered challenges and identified new opportunities in 2020, and 2021 will require equally strong determination. If resilience was the theme last year, determination is the word now. We start this year with hope and resolve to do things differently for positive outcomes.  

This means fueling more business creation and innovation, including job growth, which are imperative for global economic recovery and strong communities. Reflecting on the magnitude of need, it is very much the role of innovators and investors to help reduce disparities and bridge gulfs – and identify what causes divides and narrow them. I’m optimistic that people are increasingly open-minded and willing to take the time to work toward the broader goal of a more just and fair world.

I’d like to share a few recent highlights with you and give a glimpse of what we have in the works.

We are leading with our strategy to strengthen our four core businesses: commercial banking, private banking & wealth management, investment banking and fund management. That means investing in and adding offerings tailored for the markets we serve by accelerating steps we took in the past 18 months. Those steps are focused on expanding services and solutions to better serve our clients, including the acquisitions of Boston Private to strengthen our private banking, wealth management and trust services, and the debt investment business of WestRiver Group. We also made investments in executive talent marketplace Bolster, startup insurer Vouch and data analytics platform Aumni. We are planning to make additional announcements throughout 2021 and continue to invest in the SVB digital platform to make it easy to work with us and be the best partner we can be to businesses, investors, and individuals.

Our long commitment to strengthen the innovation ecosystem is also leading to new investments and partnerships to encourage new voices and perspectives that reflect the world we live in. Through our Access to Innovation program, we invest in people and organizations that are committed to creating more opportunity for underrepresented groups. In 2020, we became a founding member of VentureForward, an NVCA-sponsored organization focused on creating a more diverse, equitable and inclusive venture ecosystem, and made investments in Valence and theBoardList, both of which connect underrepresented talent with board and professional positions. Starting this month, we’ll be making the Valence platform, a premier talent community for Black professionals, available to 2,000 US clients.

We have made giving back to our communities a top priority since our founding in 1983. Today, every community in which SVB employees work and live has people who are struggling in unimaginable ways. We are launching new strategies to contribute our human capital as well as our financial support. The most important promise of innovation lies in fixing systemic inequalities and taking better care of ourselves and our fragile planet. We announced last year that we would contribute to charity an estimated $20 million in net fees we collected facilitating the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program. We are creating a multi-pronged plan to donate proceeds across the regions globally where we have offices to pandemic relief, community economic development and diversity, equity and inclusion efforts – on top of increasing our non-PPP contributions.

In closing, I could not be more thankful and proud to work and partner with large and small businesses, innovators, scientists and investors who work every day to make a positive difference in people’s lives. I encourage you to share your thoughts with us about how we might strengthen our relationship and enhance the value we provide to you.

We will continue to report to you on our new initiatives and be here to help you achieve success in 2021.

Wishing you well,

Greg Becker

CEO

Silicon Valley Bank

About the Author

Greg has been a champion of the innovation economy since he joined SVB in 1993 as a banker to fast-growing technology companies. Today, he is the president and CEO of the world’s only financial institution dedicated to the innovation sector around the globe. Greg has led the expansion of the company, now the nation’s 14th largest bank, to include four primary businesses serving the innovation sector: commercial banking, fund management, private banking and wealth management, and investment banking. 
 
Under Greg’s leadership, SVB has continued to outpace the growth rate of other banks and financial services providers. SVB joined the S&P 500 in 2018 and has been named one of the best banks in America, one of the fastest growing public companies in the US, and one of the best places to work. SVB has been included in the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index for the last four years and is consistently among the Top Corporate Philanthropists in its headquarters’ region. Working with employees, clients, and partners, Greg has also prioritized investments and initiatives to increase diversity and inclusion at SVB and across the larger innovation ecosystem, foster economic development and support community well-being. 
 
Prior to taking on the SVB President and CEO role in 2011, Greg held a variety of leadership positions, including co-founding SVB Capital, which manages some of the world’s top-rated venture fund-of-funds and direct investment funds.  
 
Greg is a Class A Director for the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the Chairman of TechNet, and a member of the executive council of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group (SVLG), where he was the Chairman from 2014-2017. He serves on the One Mind at Work Guiding Council and was a member of the US Department of Commerce’s Digital Economy Board of Advisors from 2016-2017. Greg earned a bachelor’s degree in business from Indiana University.