The maritime industry is woven deep into the history and culture of the Pacific Northwest, dating back hundreds of years. For modern maritime businesses, it’s important to have commercial bankers who understand the industry and can help them continue to grow. Arne Arnesen, Director of Commercial Banking at First Fed, and his team have specialized for years in the maritime industry in order to better serve the needs of those businesses.
A third generation Norwegian in Ballard, Arnesen grew up near Fisherman’s Terminal, the heart of the bustling maritime hub for the West Coast fishing industry. The North Pacific fleet was pioneered by Norwegian immigrants like Arnesen’s grandfather, and Nordic culture is still prominent and celebrated in Ballard today. Maritime finance has been a way for Arnesen to connect his banking expertise with his heritage.
“As a commercial banker I could see that the financial needs of the maritime industry were being underserved,” recalled Arnesen. “Local fisheries need lenders who understand the intricacies of their business. I wanted to cultivate the bridge between banking and maritime so they could get financial solutions that meet their needs.”
Along Washington’s 3,200 miles of shoreline, roughly 70,000 residents are employed in maritime, making it an important economic driver for the region. While the maritime sector covers a wide range of activities and commerce, some of the key areas include commercial fishing and seafood production, ship and boat building, maritime logistics and shipping, repair and maintenance, and passenger transportation.
“The maritime industry is comprised of a diverse range of business types with unique financial needs,” noted Arnesen. “For example, fisheries operate according to prime harvest season, so structuring loan payments so they coincide with a big catch can relieve some of the pressure around financing.”
Working alongside Arnesen are Jake Dixon and Scott Montgomery, Commercial Relationship Managers who each bring their own rich backgrounds in maritime to the First Fed Commerical Lending Team.
Dixon also grew up in Seattle, watching his father navigate a career in boat building and shipyard management. Initially, Dixon focused his studies and career in finance, but eventually bought a Seattle business that sold work uniforms to fishing and seafood companies. To grow his business, Dixon went through the process of obtaining a commercial loan from the other side of the table. When he shifted his career back to banking, his insider experience made him a natural fit for working with maritime businesses as a commercial lender.
“I was excited about First Fed’s commitment to growth, particularly in maritime lending,” said Dixon. “Our First Fed team also has a strong community focus which was really appealing to me.”
Montgomery moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2009, drawn to the culture and natural beauty of the area. As he continued his banking career in Seattle, he soon made connections in the maritime industry that shaped his specialty in the area.
“It’s wonderful that First Fed understands the benefit of having lenders who specialize in commercial maritime lending,” noted Montgomery. “Our team is committed to finding the best financial solutions for maritime businesses to support this vital industry.”
The Commercial Lending Team at First Fed can help maritime businesses who need a loan to help expand their operations as well as those looking to buy, construct, or refinance commercial vessels. They also offer lending solutions for fishing rights, maritime equipment providers, and shipyards.
“Our team is local with over 50 years of combined experience working in the maritime industry,” added Arnesen. “That experience helps us ease the lending process for maritime businesses, so they can get back to doing what they do best.”
To learn more about the maritime loans from First Fed or connect with a commercial lender, visit: https://www.ourfirstfed.com/business/loans/maritime-loans
First Fed is a member FDIC and equal housing lender.