This Banker Blends Wine, Lending and Rock ‘n’ Roll (by Americanbanker.com)

Posted: January 18, 2013 by wynmaker in California, Wine, World wine news
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Rob McMillan.

 

Rob McMillan has become one of banking’s experts on the wine business, but he might easily have spent his whole career thinking about corpses instead.

McMillan — an executive vice president at Silicon Valley Bank who founded its division that caters to wineries and others in the grape biz — is set to release Tuesday his popular annual report on the state of the wine industry.

But in the early 1990s, when the bank asked him to suggest niche segments to enter, wine was far from his mind. He crunched the numbers and found the perfect industry for the bank to target: mortuaries.

“‘Go find something more fun,'” his boss told him.

So McMillan kept looking. At the time, the wine industry was languishing. Major lenders were trying to reduce their exposure to wine, and the business was seen as extremely risky. But McMillan saw an opening.
Read on …

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