First Western Financial, Inc (NASDAQ:MYFW) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Jan 24, 2020 • 12:00 pm ET

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First Western Financial, Inc (NASDAQ:MYFW) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Presentation
Executive
Julie Courkamp

our efficiency ratio was relatively unchanged at 80.5%. From a long-term -- longer-term perspective, we continue to realize more operating leverage in the business as we gain scale and control expenses. Our efficiency ratio has trended positively from 88.2% for the full year 2017, down to 85.4% for 2018%, and to 80.6% for 2019.

Moving on to slide 12 and asset quality. We saw generally stable trends in the portfolio with decreases in non-performing loans and non-performing assets as our resolution of non-performing credits outpaced the inflows we had in the quarter. We had a nominal amount of net charge-offs in the quarter and to cover this small amount of charge-offs as well as provide for the strong growth we had in loans during the quarter, we recorded a provision for loan loss of $447,000.

Now I'll turn the call back over to you, Scott.

Executive
Scott Wylie

Thanks, Julie. Moving to slide 13, I'll provide a few comments on our outlook. Heading into 2020, we're going to continue to put more emphasis on asset generation to complement the success we've had in growing total deposits and assets for our investment management business. One of the things we're working on is a commercial bank initiative designed to build expertise that will enable us to target specific vertical markets.

The first vertical market we're targeting is medical and dental practices. We've hired a leader for this market who is developing commercial banking products and services specific for the unique needs of these practices. We intend to replicate the same model for other vertical markets as we move forward on this initiative. We also expect to see our expansion into the new markets paying more dividends this year. We expect to see a nice contribution from our Vail Valley office as it continues to ramp up and generate more awareness for our unique value proposition.

We also recently hired a market president and focused on the Broomfield area, which we -- where we had a -- previously had a presence. Broomfield is about halfway between Boulder and Denver and has similar demographics to a number of our other most successful markets. The housing market remains healthy in Colorado, which should continue to present good opportunities for mortgage production. For the full year, we anticipate mortgage activity will be relatively consistent with what we saw in 2019.

With the continued growth in revenue and additional scale we expect to add in 2020, we should be able to realize additional operating leverage and further improve our efficiency ratio. In closing, we feel like we have a number of catalysts in place that will drive another year of strong earnings growth and positively impact our level of profitability. And we believe we're well positioned to steadily enhance the value of our franchise in the coming years.

So with that, we're happy to take your questions. Jewel, please open up the call.