From day one, Live Oak Bank’s mission has been to treat every customer as if they are the only customer in the bank. In order to stay true to that mission, the bank uses a verticalized strategy to ensure small business owners receive an unprecedented banking experience. Live Oak places a team in each profession they serve to learn it inside and out and provide the best service possible. Their intense focus on each industry makes it possible for them to provide customized care to each business owner and form sustainable partnerships. These partnerships ensure that borrowers are making sound financial decisions and that Live Oak is providing the safest possible loans. It is for that reason that the bank’s loan default rate is less than 1% and remains one of the lowest in the nation.
“We strive to understand each business to the degree that we could operate it successfully ourselves. Fully understanding the business and being able to speak the language allows us to partner with our borrowers and provide loans that are safe for the employees and shareholders of the bank. With this approach, we have had incredible success with booking quality loans, which means we have been successful in helping small business owners grow their businesses at a level that is profitable. This allows our customers to better serve their customers,” explains Tim Bridgers, General Manager of Funeral Home and Cemetery Lending at Live Oak Bank.
Live Oak entered the funeral profession in 2010. That year, they started investigating the funeral home market and quickly became intrigued by what it offered. “As we began to learn about the tradition, the heritage, and the safety and soundness of the business, we learned that a funeral home could be successful by being ingrained in the community, having a great personality, and having a sense of what it takes to operate a business,” adds Tim. Today, Live Oak has had the pleasure of working with some of the most successful funeral homes in the country.
“When I joined this team as a lender in 2014, one of the things I realized off the bat was that these funeral home owners, like many small business owners across the U.S., needed a true partner and educational resources. They needed tips and guidance on how to properly run a business to yield the best results and to remain sustainable and profitable. And that was something I knew we could deliver,” Tim states.
The Live Oak Bank team is 100% dedicated to providing and servicing loans for the funeral profession. They are fully devoted to their funeral home and cemetery customers. In addition to learning how a funeral home operates, Live Oak believes that one must constantly be learning in order to grow and lead well. For this reason, they pay close attention to the big picture.
“When we dive in to learn the business inside and out, we learn the challenges and the market trends – where it’s come from and where it’s going. By doing so, we get to see hundreds of funeral home financials a year that allow us to do an in-depth study of margins and metrics. This helps us to identify healthy businesses, businesses that have potential, or businesses that may be trending down,” explains Tim.
Outside of lending money, Live Oak’s emphasis on verticalization has allowed their funeral home and cemetery lending team to become experts in the funeral profession. It gives them a platform to share what they learn with future borrowers and association members and offer continuing education.
To learn more, contact their team at 910.363.2743 or visit liveoakbank.com/funeral. Their team will be happy to discuss growth opportunities for your business.
THE LIVE OAK DIFFERENCE
Our entire team from top to bottom is 100% dedicated to providing and servicing loans for the funeral profession. We are fully devoted to our funeral home and cemetery customers and their business.
Our sales team is focused on our customers’ long-term success and not just closing a transaction to make a buck. We seek to establish a personal relationship with each customer and help customers choose a loan product that best meets their needs.
Custom Financial Solutions
Financing should not be one-size-fits-all. Live Oak is passionate about listening to and learning from funeral professionals like you. We use your valuable insights to develop loan programs that directly address the issues you deal with, and that support your goals.
Business Advisory Group
From the time a loan closes until the day it is paid back in full, our dedicated servicing teams work with our customers to help with critical financial decisions. Each Business Advisor provides support for all types of business operations.
Education and Leadership
We believe that one must constantly be learning in order to grow and lead well. Live Oak is committed to continuing to provide you with valuable educational opportunities and relevant content that inspires your business to grow.
What our customers are saying:
“It’s too bad they have to call it a bank because Live Oak is more like a partner for our funeral home.” — Mike Ryan | Ohio
“Live Oak Bank was steadfast throughout the whole loan process, always confident they would get the deal done.” — Jeff Lyons | California
MEET THE TEAM
Tim Bridgers, General Manager
Tim Bridgers joined Live Oak Bank in 2014 with over ten years of valuable business and entrepreneurial experience. Tim is a former business owner and developer of two successful companies and understands the challenges business owners face. He is dedicated to assisting small business owners in the funeral industry become and remain successful with Live Oak Bank’s products and services.
Nick Padlo, Loan Officer
Nick Padlo joined Live Oak Bank in 2014 as a member of the Business Advisory Group servicing healthcare customers in the northeast. He then served as an Underwriter for Live Oak’s Agriculture team. In August 2016, Nick joined the Funeral Home and Cemetery Lending team where he helps drive new business relationships with customers as a Loan Officer.
Meghan Cowan, Loan Officer
Meghan Cowan joined Live Oak Bank in 2010 as a Relationship Manager in the Bank’s servicing department. Meghan also served as an Underwriter and as a Credit Officer, providing her a thorough knowledge of the loan process. As a Loan Officer on the Funeral Home Lending Team, she evaluates loan applications for cash flow, credit and competency to determine the best financing options that will ensure continued successful operation of the funeral business.
Kaelin Stone, Loan Officer
Kaelin Stone joined Live Oak Bank in 2015. She began working in the bank’s Business Advisory Group, managing a portfolio of over 90 borrowers. She now serves as a Loan Officer specializing in Funeral Home and Cemetery financing. Kaelin is an expert at financial analysis, loan structuring and underwriting.