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Auction.com Orange County, CA
"We have a good, honest relationship with F&M."
Jeff Frieden, F&M Bank client since 1990
Jeff Frieden will never forget the day when Ken Walker, then F&M President, gave him his first line of credit for $1 million in 1990.
“I had explored working with other banks, and I remember meeting with Ken who understood my business within 15 minutes,” said Frieden, whose business at the time, landauction.com, served as a precursor to Auction.com, now the nation’s leading online real estate marketplace, where Jeff is currently CEO. “Even when market conditions were tough, F&M continued to work with us.”
Like business partner Robert Friedman, Frieden’s relationship with F&M now extends far beyond his initial line of credit. His father was an F&M customer in the 1960s, and his 93-year-old mother is still a customer to this day. “Everyone knows my mom when she walks into the bank, and that means a lot to me, and to her,” he said.
Frieden also values F&M’s conservative approach to banking, which resonates with him as a shareholder of F&M and father of 7- and 8-year-old children whom have opened up Youth Savings accounts at the Bank.
“The personalized service, transparency and overall philosophy make F&M an ideal fit for me, and it feels good to pass along the tradition of banking with F&M to my children,” Frieden said.
Robert Friedman, F&M Bank client since 2001
Robert Friedman recalls when he and his business partner, Jeff Frieden, were young entrepreneurs in search of a banking partner.
“We were 25 years old, and F&M was there for us as a foundational partner for all of our businesses,” said Friedman, who today is chairman and co-founder of Auction. com, which has sold more than $30 billion in residential and commercial assets since 2007. “We have a good, honest relationship with F&M, and those are the types of relationships that make it easier to scale a business.”
The relationship between F&M and Friedman extends beyond just business. Friedman, a longtime board member of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County, encouraged F&M President Henry Walker to get involved with the organization more than a decade ago.
“Henry has been a significant contributor to the organization ever since, which is a testament to how our core values truly align with each other,” said Friedman, noting that Walker received the organization’s “Man of the Year” award in 2009. “There is a lot of mutual respect between us, and that stems from the desire to help members of our community to become good citizens.”