John Dean is most famous for his turnaround of Silicon Valley Bank. During his eight years as CEO at Silicon Valley Bank, assets grew from $935 million to $5.5 billion; employees from 235 to over 1,000; and market capitalization from $63 million to a high of over $3 billion. This was his 5th bank turnaround.

Seldom do you come across a man who has pulled out five multi-million dollar banks from the doldrums.

Aptly nicknamed ‘bank turn-around specialist’ John Dean started his career in the banking industry where he has virtually ‘rescued’ the Silicon Valley Bank and the First National Bank of Oklahoma amongst a few others.

He has gathered knowledge and experience in the business to become an effective financial advisor to CEOs and start-up companies.

Mr. Dean shares his story on the importance of cooperation and teamwork in facing difficulties.

“I think great companies come not from an individual but greatness overtime comes from a team,” he said. “And to build a team one path to doing that, doing it well is getting that team and all your employees committed to giving back into the community.”

John Dean has established a foundation in his family name along with an organization called the Entrepreneur’s Foundation of Hawaii, which enables companies to integrate community involvement and philanthropy into their corporate culture.

Listen to this interview and find out more about his success as a banker and his hopes as a venture capitalist with Startup Capital Ventures and Tuputele Ventures.

Some questions asked:

John C. Dean
A graduate of Holy Cross College, a former Peace Corps Volunteer in Western Samoa, and a graduate of the Wharton School with an MBA in Finance, John spent 30 years as an executive in the financial services industry, focusing for the last 10 years on technology startup companies. He is presently Managing Director of a small private equity fund, Tuputele Ventures Fund, investing in fund-of-funds, venture capital funds and startup technology firms with investments primarily focused in Silicon Valley and Hawai`i. He is also the managing general partner of Startup Capital Ventures.

From 1993 to 2001, John was Chief Executive Officer of Silicon Valley Bancshares and Silicon Valley Bank; and then from 2001 to 2003, he served as Chairman of the Board of the bank and the holding company. During his eight years as CEO at Silicon Valley Bank, assets grew from $935 million to $5.5 billion; employees from 235 to over 1,000; and market capitalization from $63 million to a high of over $3 billion. In 1997 he was recognized by Business Week as one of Silicon Valley’s top 25 “movers and shakers.” In 2000, and again in 2001, Silicon Valley Bancshares was ranked first among the second-hundred largest banking companies in the United States by U.S. Banker, based upon return on equity and growth in per-share net income over a five-year period. In 2001, he was recognized by Forbes as one of the “50 most powerful dealmakers.” And, in 2001 Fortune ranked Silicon Valley Bancshares among the “100 Fastest-Growing Companies” based on growth in revenues, EPS and total market return over three years.

Prior to Silicon Valley Bank, John had been CEO of four other institutions. He was Chief Executive Officer of: Pacific First Bank (1991-1993); First Interstate Bank of Washington (1989-1991); First Interstate Bank of Oklahoma (1986-1989); and, First Interstate System, Inc. (1981-1986). Under John’s leadership, these banks, some of which were troubled institutions, grew significantly and became profitable.

John is an advisor to and director of various venture capital firms and technology companies both in the United States and overseas. He also serves as director of several non-profit organizations and frequently speaks on topics related to leadership and building successful companies.

John is on the advisory board of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, as well as a committee member for the School’s five-year capital campaign. He is a director of Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship and E-Business (PACE) at the business school of the University of Hawai`i. And, he is a director of the Oceanic Institute, an affiliate of Hawai`i Pacific University.

John also has many years of experience investing in technology companies. He has served as Managing Director of Tuputele Ventures Fund, LLC, a small private equity fund investing in early-stage technology companies and venture capital funds. He is an investment director for various venture capital firms, both in the U.S. and overseas, including Advanced Technology Ventures (ATV), Authosis Capital, Institutional Venture Fund (IVP), Leapfrog Ventures, and Walden International. Also, John is a director of various technology companies, including AssistGuide, BioImagene, EzRez Software, H-5 Technologies, PayDay One, and Winery Exchange. He brings a wide network of industry contacts to the Fund, notably in Silicon Valley and Hawaii.

John was a founding director of the Entrepreneurs Foundation in Silicon Valley and for a six-month period during 2001-2002, was its interim CEO. John is also a director of HiBEAM, a nonprofit organization that serves as an accelerator for startup companies in Hawai`i, and Chairman of the Emmett R. Quady Foundation, his family foundation.

Entrepreneur’s Foundation of Hawaii
Startup Capital Ventures
Tuputele Ventures

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