Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

"I Sleep Well at Night." (National Bankers Association Chairman Louis E. Prezeau, Sr.)

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

"I Sleep Well at Night." (National Bankers Association Chairman Louis E. Prezeau, Sr.)

Article excerpt

Louis E. Prezeau, Sr., is comfortable being first--he's had

a lot of practice at it. Hc was the first Haitian-born C.P.A. in the state of New York, president of a commercial bank in the United States, and chairman of the National Bankers Association trade group.

The NBA is a 69-year-old trade organization that began as the Negro League of Banks and expanded to include other minorities and women. The association currently has 54 bank members throughout the U.S.

Prezeau, the NBA's immediate past chairman, was born in Port-auPrince, Haiti, and emigrated to the U.S. in 1960 to escape the reign of Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier. He worked as a file clerk by day and attended night school to become an accountant. He went into banking in 1975 and has led "a very exciting career for the past 21 years." Prezeau is president and chief executive officer of $105 million-assets City National Bank, Newark, N.J., the only African-American owned bank in the state.

Under his leadership the NBA increased its membership, reduced dues by 30%, and achieved financial stability. In September the NBA announced that it would participate in launching the new HUD Loan Guarantee Recovery program with up to $5 million in below-market-rate loans to be made available to the black churches destroyed by arsonists. …

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