One of the most common misconceptions is that you should always separate your professional and personal lives. If the past few years have taught me anything, however, it’s that in an ever-evolving world, we need leaders that will challenge the lessons we’ve learned and reimagine their organization’s role in driving positive change in our society. I firmly believe that Valley’s role is to be a leader at the forefront of this evolution.
Today, many organizations, just like ours, have reached an intersection where our business objectives must align with our personal responsibilities to create a better, stronger world around us. As a bank, we have a unique opportunity to have a positive and profound impact on society, whether that is serving as an engine for entrepreneurship, leading social and cultural change or taking a deeper focus on our environmental impact.
Our role in an ever-evolving industry
One of the great things about our country is that we have a diverse and vibrant banking industry capable of serving the needs of a multitude of consumers and businesses. As a mid-size commercial bank with $57 billion in assets, Valley has a unique place in that ecosystem. In fact, as it stands today in the U.S., there are 17 commercial banks with assets above $100 billion and only 11 banks with assets in the range of $50 to $100 billion. The reality is that the mid-size commercial banking space has shrunk, and it has become more important for a bank like Valley to take a leadership role in our industry by leaning into what makes us unique—being a relationship-focused commercial bank that delivers personalized solutions to a distinct mid-size business segment which is underserved by many of our peers.
In 2022, we continued to embrace this opportunity, not only in our financial performance but also in our ability to lead and drive change while continuing to move our Company forward. As an example, to support our Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) efforts, we were the first mid-size bank in the country to issue a $150 million Sustainable Subordinated Debt Financing package that will be used to finance new and existing social and green assets. To provide further transparency around how we’re making a positive impact in these areas, we also issued our first ESG report in 2021, which highlights our cultural and social progress along with our focus on mitigating the risks of climate change.
But this is only part of our story.
Our remarkable performance in a year of change
As evidenced in the accompanying financial statements, 2022 was another successful, record-breaking year for Valley. We were able to generate solid returns for our shareholders, while simultaneously delivering outsized solutions for our clients, providing countless opportunities for our associates, and supporting much-needed economic growth for the communities we serve.
In 2022, we generated $1.9 billion of revenue and $569 million of net income, which both represent new high-water marks for our organization. Our annualized return on average assets was 1.09 percent, or 1.25 percent on an adjusted basis*, as compared to 1.14 percent and 1.19 percent on an adjusted basis* in 2021. Despite interest rate headwinds and the closing of the largest acquisition in our Company’s history, tangible book value per share* as of the end of 2022 increased approximately 3 percent to $8.15 as compared to 2021.
Valley maintained strong momentum this past year. Here are some notable highlights:
- We ended 2021 with the acquisition of The Westchester Bank, which added a highly successful banking franchise with approximately $1.4 billion in assets and a significant presence in Westchester County, New York.
- Only a few months later, we completed the largest acquisition in our history: our merger with Bank Leumi USA, an $8.6 billion bank with offices in New York, Florida, California and Illinois.
- Valley’s 2021 acquisition of Dudley Ventures, an Arizona-based tax credit advisory organization, has established a partnership that aligns with our core values of helping our communities succeed and thrive. Dudley Ventures has added the ability to help renew and revitalize economically distressed communities nationwide.
- Valley’s cannabis-related banking business, which we launched in 2021, has grown meaningfully this past year. In fact, today we are one of the largest banks serving licensed cannabis operators nationally. As we head into our third year serving these businesses, we are well-positioned to service the industry across geographic markets, from multistate operators to single-state and local cultivators, processors and retailers.
- We also identified a real gap in our communities when it came to financial support for women- and minority-owned small businesses. That’s why we expanded our Community Lending team to bridge that gap and provide these business owners with experienced local bankers who can serve as mentors and financial guides. Our Community Lending solutions include leveraging strong partnerships with national and regional organizations that can provide additional education, mentorship, and financing resources across our U.S. footprint into underserved communities where businesses often don’t qualify for traditional lending.
Our people are our greatest asset
Our people are leaders in the community. They are the beating heart and moral compass for our organization. And they are some of the most talented professionals in the banking industry.
In 2022, we once again solicited ideas and feedback from our associates through our annual engagement survey, which helps us create commitments to meaningfully enhance the overall employee experience at Valley. We listened as our colleagues asked questions in monthly town hall meetings, executive leadership forums and through our internal channels so we can better understand what is most important to them.
We’ve created mentorship opportunities bank-wide to help grow emerging leaders and implemented recognition programs that celebrate our associates’ achievements. Our award-winning internship program continues to provide invaluable talent for our esteemed Credit Underwriting Program and for other positions across the entire organization. And we’re also constantly advancing opportunities for professional growth by providing a variety of innovative development programs where associates feel valued and fulfilled in their careers at Valley.
We continue to champion a culture of inclusion and engagement with our customers and stakeholders. Our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) programs and initiatives focus on providing greater access to the many opportunities Valley offers. In 2022, we sponsored over 40 DEI events for both our employees and our communities. Through our six growing Associate Resource Groups, we piloted a bank-wide mentorship program to provide direct engagement and career journeys for a broad employee base. As always, DEI education was a priority with learning opportunities available for all. I’m proud to say our internship program was 56 percent ethnically diverse with a DEI focus on First Generation/Low Income students within our footprint.
Our role in the community
At our core, Valley has always been about serving the needs of our communities. Even as we expand nationally, our local roots are infused into the DNA of our organization. This past year, we promoted affordable housing and racial and social equity by partnering with organizations who champion these causes. We significantly expanded our support for entrepreneurship, innovation, and women- and minority-owned businesses by growing existing relationships and forging new ones with partners who operate at the forefront of these issues. And when one of our local Southwest Florida communities was battered by Hurricane Ian, we provided financial and volunteer support to those who needed our help the most.
This is just a small snapshot of what we’ve done to support our communities in 2022. In fact, for the second straight time, we received an Outstanding CRA rating from our primary bank regulator, a true testament to our commitment to driving positive change in the community. I invite you to learn more about everything we’re doing to bring economic empowerment and change to our communities by reading our full Corporate Social Responsibility report at Valley.com.
Our way forward
Our vision is to be the premier relationship-based commercial bank in the country. In just the past five years, we have seen our Company more than double in size to $57 billion in assets. We have accomplished this by igniting a diverse and empowered culture that is passionate about making a positive and lasting impact for our clients and communities.
When I think about our road ahead – a road to excellence, as I refer to it – I am more excited than ever about our strategy, our people, and our ability to live up to those lofty aspirations and deliver exceptional results for all our stakeholders.
On behalf of our Board of Directors, executive leadership team and all Valley associates, thank you for your continued trust and confidence in us.