What a Difference a Year Makes

Marc Cadieux, President Silicon Valley Bank, a Division of First Citizens Bank

With the start of a new year and the anniversary of the historic events of last March approaching, I can’t help but reflect on what a difference a year makes.

Much has been written about the SVB crisis. It was a stressful and challenging time for many, especially SVB clients. That story has been well covered. The even more compelling story, to me, is what has happened in the year since.

It feels simultaneously astounding and inevitable that Silicon Valley Bank is in the position we’re in today, dedicated to rebuilding trust and actively delivering the solutions our innovation economy clients rely on. I credit the power of knowing our purpose, having a strong base of dedicated, client-centric employees, and of course the fortuitous acquisition of SVB by First Citizens Bank.

Though “banking” and “emotion” are rarely spoken in the same sentence, to know us is to know that SVBers are very emotionally invested in what we do. We bank the most exciting and vibrant part of the economy, led by people who are giving their all every day to build something new or change the status quo. We have the privilege of watching – and helping – great ideas turn into great companies. It’s impossible not to feel inspired, motivated and deeply invested in that work and the people. With that purpose, and a lot of fire in the belly, the SVB team rallied in extraordinary ways for our clients to give us another opportunity to earn their business.


We know what we do is hard to replicate, which is why it is so important to the innovation economy that we continue to do it:

  • SVB’s Tech and Healthcare Banking team made more than 500 new loans totaling more than $3 billion in new loan commitments between April-December 2023. This is not the volume we have historically done, yet incredible that the teams rallied for our clients at such a fast pace.
  • 81% of pre-March 2023 clients continue to maintain active accounts at SVB.
  • Thousands of clients who left SVB have returned and hundreds of new clients have been onboarded.
  • Roughly 80% of our bankers and relationship advisors have not changed.
  • We have hired roughly 200 employees since May 1, 2023, adding to our bench of more than 1,500 innovation economy bankers. And we continue to hire, with currently more than 40 open positions.

All this continuity and momentum on the heels of an existentially challenging moment in our company’s 40-year history is nothing short of astounding.


Our progress since last March also feels inevitable – because of the people who make up SVB and the market’s need for a bank like ours.

When SVB was acquired by First Citizens last March and the dust of the previous few weeks began to settle, SVBers recognized that we had something special and we hadn’t lost it. The products and services, people and clients were still here. And there was a recognition that there is no better place from which to serve the innovation economy.

SVB’s entire business – from our solutions and technology to our credit policy and beyond – was purpose-built for investors and innovation economy clients. What our clients in every sector and life-stage need is here: customized and comprehensive banking solutions, dedicated teams of sector experts with essential insights, and exceptional service delivered at the speed our clients require. We are unwaveringly dedicated to the success of the innovators and investors who are quite literally inventing the future; and they deserve a banking partner that understands and can support their unique needs.

Our deep understanding of the innovation economy and fit-for-purpose solutions become essential in challenging economic environments like the one we’re in today. We have the products our clients need, but also a long-term view and patient and flexible approach to our client relationships, helpful counsel and insights gleaned from years of experience with similar clients, and industry connectivity that can make the difference for clients navigating trying times. Through numerous economic cycles, we’ve seen every scenario and counseled countless companies and investors, helping them get to the other side.

Our team operates with a real sense of empathy, developed from 40 years of watching just how hard it is for clients to build a successful company. We’ve seen the countless stumbles and the resiliency it takes to keep going. The experience of last year gave SVBers a deep familiarity with just how crushing those stumbles can feel, but equally with how healing and motivating it feels to have steady partners and devoted colleagues with the grit to stand back up and continue building.


First Citizens Bank has proven to be one such steady partner. First Citizens is well known in many markets yet was new to the innovation economy. While it was entirely reasonable for observers to question alignment, there would be no SVB today without First Citizens and we have far more in common than initial impressions might suggest. First Citizens’ leadership recognized SVB’s unique and critical role in the innovation economy, and their actions to date demonstrate commitment to maintaining all that historically made SVB that preferred partner. Now, SVB is additive to First Citizens’ solid performance. First Citizens’ leadership team is an extremely thoughtful group that is focused on the long-term, conservative in their management style and open to well-managed, strategic risk-taking. It took grit, vision and a solid financial foundation to take us on, and that speaks volumes about who First Citizens is.

With the support of First Citizens and the resolve of the SVB team, SVB accomplished something extraordinary in the last year. However, the mission is not complete. It will take more time to reestablish trust through consistent actions aligned with our clients’ and community’s expectations. We gladly accept that challenge. The innovation economy needs us to accept that challenge.

Our clients’ sentiments are the true measure of our success. They see we’re continuing to deliver the same service they need and expect from SVB, and they’re expressing genuine relief that we’re still at it:

     “[SVB’s] commitment to serving clients and the innovation economy remains strong and unmatched. We look forward to continuing our partnership.”

     - Tim Wan, CFO at Asana

     “The SVB team has not skipped a beat and, in fact, I think they are better than ever. SVB has figured out a unique formula to service startups and that's not easy to match."

     - Sinohe Terrero, CFO/COO of Envoy

     "Despite the hurdles, SVB continues to stand out as the quintessential bank for forward-thinkers and innovators."

     - Anna King, CFO of Mesh Payments

We’re incredibly encouraged by these and other client voices as we head into our next phase of serving investors and innovators. Thank you to our clients past, present and future for the opportunity to serve you and to do what we love. I’m excited and inspired to see what a difference another year will make.