Getting the opportunity here has been so great. It has also really helped me understand commercial loan underwriting and risk management. I know it sounds like we are bankers. If you read my blogs you might believe we come in to work every day in suits and ties carrying fancy briefcases. The only thing in my possession right now that sounds like briefcase are the “briefs” I am wearing… and I never carry documents in them.
As you can guess, the banker perception might not be quite accurate. When I put on a suit I normally find the funeral announcement that I put in my pocket from the last time I had the suit on (this tends to build on my suit aversion…subconsciously I am sure I have connected suits and dirges). Also, I am quite sure my hair is longer and messier than would be acceptable in most banks. The “Ramones” and “Social Distortion” music blaring through my headphones right now probably do not indicate a “traditional bank” atmosphere (wait…what…I can’t hear you…HUH?).
I am not trying to paint some picture that Enterprise Development is made up of a bunch of counter-culture radicals. I actually fall a long way from that tree. We are, in my humble opinion, an incredibly professional, honest, efficient and process driven organization. I am proud to be part of what we are building here. We are good at what we do.
So, having said that, this blog is called Mike the Pirate for a reason. This organization was founded by Mike Crist, our titular hero. When Enterprise was started thirty years ago, the type of lending we do now did not exist. It was the wild west, or maybe more relative to the title, the high seas. The rules were made up as everyone went along, and Mike the Pirate was a big part of that. He was clever and smart and really helped the organization grow into what it is now. He is a self-described 60’s hippie agitator, never afraid to poke a stick at organizations that need a stick poked at them.
He really set the company culture as it exists today. We have obviously had to do some tuck pointing to help meet the increasingly complicated and stringent regulatory requirements and market demands, but the culture he started still exists. So often I write these blogs about new issues in the lending world or ideas to help a business improve. Or, occasionally, about something that has irritated me enough to need to rant and rave. It is nice, however, to remember our roots and to pay a little homage to the people who helped start it all. Mike the Pirate is no longer with the organization and has moved on to other adventures on the high seas, ever the pathfinder and explorer. I am raising a glass of hot buttered rum (Arrgh!) to Mike the Pirate.