SAN FRANCISCO, March 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Building on the expertise of its Premium Wine Group, Bank of the West's Commercial Banking Group announced today the broadening of its wine specialty to include beer and spirits. According to Nielsen Research, all three categories – beer, wine, and spirits – saw significant growth in 2015. As a leading source for merger and acquisition financing to the wine industry, the Premium Wine Group currently covers nearly 300 wine clients and has issued $1 billion in loans across the Bank's footprint over the past decade. Adam Beak, head of the Premium Wine Group, will lead the new Wine & Beverage Group.
"By extending the team's extensive expertise more widely across these aligned beverage industries, we plan to reach more clients who could benefit from our relationship banking that offers world-class financial products and international reach, along with proximity and in-depth knowledge of the opportunities and challenges facing wineries, breweries and distilleries in today's marketplace," said Jean-Marc Torre, senior executive vice president and head of the Commercial Banking Group.
The Wine & Beverage Group will leverage the knowledge and relationships that have made Bank of the West a trusted advisor and one of the leading bankers to the wine industry for the beer and spirits specialties. The Premium Wine Group's engagement throughout the industry's value chain — from the biggest international players to local boutique wineries, from cork-and- capsule manufacturers to the distributors of the final product – is key to the team's success.
"Our experience financing the full spectrum of operations within the wine sector has given incredible depth to our practice," said Adam Beak, managing director, head of the new Wine & Beverage Group at Bank of the West. "The new Wine & Beverage Group is building on our strengths by supporting beer and spirits companies that are looking to grow."
In addition to wine, beer and spirits, the Wine & Beverage Group will assess other beverage segments – including juice, water and energy drinks – to identify additional client opportunities.
Bank of the West is ranked number three among agriculture banks in the US. The Wine & Beverage Group will be part of the Commercial Banking Group's Agribusiness Division. The Commercial Banking Group helps corporate clients by combining the personal relationships and community ties of a local bank with the strength and international capabilities of BNP Paribas, Bank of the West's parent company, whether clients are seeking support for an international expansion, a key acquisition or the management of a complex risk profile.
About Bank of the West Commercial Banking Group:
Bank of the West's Commercial Banking Group team meets the rapidly changing needs of growing businesses with annual revenues of $25 million and higher. With specialized sector expertise, the Group anticipates and tackles the challenges businesses face in industries including agriculture, healthcare, commercial real estate, manufacturing, religious institutions, and technology. The Commercial Banking Group offers clients personalized relationships and community ties of a local bank backed by the international capabilities of BNP Paribas.
About Bank of the West:
Bank of the West is a regional financial services company chartered in California and headquartered in San Francisco with $75.7 billion in assets as of December 31, 2015. Founded in 1874, Bank of the West provides a wide range of personal, commercial, wealth management and international banking services through more than 600 offices in 22 states and digital channels. Bank of the West is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, which has a presence in 75 countries with 185,000 employees.
Deposit and loan products offered by Bank of the West, Member FDIC. Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender
 Source: Nielsen, "Tops of 2015: Alcoholic Beverages," January, 2016
 Source: Bank of the West Commercial Banking Group
 Source: American Bankers Association
SOURCE Bank of the West