Citybiz Interview with Robert Kunisch, President & Chief Operating Officer at Howard Bank

Baltimore CityBizList - 03/09/21

Rob Kunisch is the President and Chief Operating Officer of Howard Bank and a member of their Board of Directors. He has spent his entire banking career in Maryland, beginning in 1990 at Mercantile-Safe Deposit and Trust Company and, later, its acquirer, PNC Bank. In 2008, Rob joined Wilmington Trust FSB as the Director of Commercial Banking and was later promoted to President of Wilmington Trust, FSB — Maryland, and assumed the additional responsibilities of running wealth management in Maryland. When M&T Bancorp acquired the bank in 2011, he opted to pursue his desire to work at a community bank by serving as a consultant to the 1st Mariner Bancorp board. In 2014, he put together a team of investors to raise $110 million that was used to take control of 1st Mariner Bank where he later became CEO. Four years later, he negotiated a deal to merge with Howard Bank in March 2018 which would position him as President of the largest headquartered bank in Baltimore. In 2020, he was promoted to Chief Operating Officer.

Rob has served in the past as Chairman of Saint Ignatius Loyola Academy and a board member of various entities related to Catholic Charities. His past community involvement includes the United Way and the Independent College Fund. He is currently a trustee at Stevenson University and Director of the Maryland Bankers Association. Additionally, Rob was named one of the Maryland Daily Record’s 2020 Influential Marylanders

Interview Questions:
Career | Can you provide an overview of your banking career starting a Mercantile Safe-Deposit and Trust Company, your involvement with 1st Mariner Bancorp and your promotion to President of Howard Bancorp last year?
Howard Bank Today | Please provide a snapshot of Howard Bank in terms of capital, loan portfolio, employees and footprint?
PPP Loans | Howard Bank was a significant lender during the first two rounds of PPP loans. How many loans and what was the value of those loans? How did your team handle the PPP to help small and medium-sized businesses?
Covid Impact | Covid impacted operations across nearly every industry. How has it impacted how Howard Bank serves business and individual clients?
Fintech | Are there any fintech strategies and relationships that are being implemented?
Impact | As a community bank, Howard Bank has made a huge impact here in Greater Baltimore. How does being headquartered here support your goals to create a positive impact?
New Stimulus | With the new stimulus for small businesses open now, how is Howard Bank helping businesses?

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