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Exec Encourages Bankers to be ‘Social’

FINANCE: Comerica VP Rides Social Media Wave

A local banking executive is encouraging fellow bankers to embrace social media rather than fear it. Comerica Bank Vice President, Relationship Manager Jay McCabe is described by some as the “most socially connected banker in San Diego”.

Jay McCabe
Vice President, Relationship Manager
Comerica Bank

“Banking is a regulated industry. With that comes a higher level of responsibility around social media,” McCabe said. “This barrier makes it easier to just do nothing, instead of learning what is okay to post and then taking the time to create meaningful content for your network. It’s also a new skill for many.”

He’s a 20-year industry veteran. In his role at Comerica, McCabe is responsible for managing a growing portfolio of middle-market companies with annual revenues between $20-$500 million. His duties include generating revenues through structuring and executing senior debt transactions related to M&A, traditional commercial lending and treasury-related products.

“It’s natural to feel some level of fear when posting information on social media,” he added. “I have these same feelings. To boost my confidence, I ask myself whether what I am posting is positive and whether will it make the world a better place. If the answer is ‘yes’ to both questions, then I feel better. I also come back to the advice I received from a mentor who said, ‘Get over yourself!’”

By a 4 to 1 ratio, employees prefer to work for a CEO who uses digital and social media, according to 2019 research from the Brunswick Group. The financial advisory firm asked 2,800 readers of financial publications and 3,600 employees of companies with more than 1,000 employees about their social media expectations for corporate leaders. Results revealed that 86% of financial readers find it important for business leaders to use social media to communicate. By a 6 to 1 ratio, financial readers trust “connected leaders” more than ones who avoid social media, the survey found.

Some of the most globally prominent CEOs have been riding the social wave for years, like Walmart CEO Doug McMillon who has almost 1.2 million LinkedIn followers, 142,000 Facebook friends and 50,000 Instagram followers. Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian has nearly 250,000 LinkedIn followers and 28,000 Instagram followers. Roughly 84,000 people follow Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg on LinkedIn.

McCabe doesn’t know if he’s actually the most socially connected banker here. “I have noticed that among my fellow bankers in San Diego, I am more active than most,” he said. “During the pandemic, I started creating my own content and posting more regularly on LinkedIn.”

He has nearly 2,700 followers on LinkedIn, where he posts weekly and shares his monthly video series, “Ask the Banker”. His recent videos avoid any stuffy corporate vibe. A June video shows him taking a leisurely walk along the beach while he discusses reducing borrowing costs.

“At my core, I enjoy helping people,” he said. “I am also fascinated by learning about different businesses. Commercial banking is at the convergence of both these. Banks like Comerica provide capital to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses. This helps create a strong economy and provides jobs. I find purpose in that.”

McCabe believes that San Diego business community is ripe for making connections. “If you want to make a difference, you simply need to get involved. No one cares where you live or where you went to school. What people do care about is what you are doing to contribute. That’s incredibly inclusive.”

Comerica

FOUNDED: 1849 as the Detroit Savings Fund Institute
CEO & PRESIDENT:  Curtis Farmer
HEADQUARTERS: Dallas, TX
EMPLOYEES: 8,000 globally with 94 in San Diego
BUSINESS: banking
WEBSITE: comerica.com
CONTACT:  800-266-3742
NOTABLE: Comerica and the Comerica Charitable Foundation provided $27 million in COVID-19 relief to support community service organizations and businesses.

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