VirtualBank Passes the Ball to Dan Marino With Bank Launch

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VirtualBank, a 1-year-old online bank, last week tapped retired National Football League quarterback Dan Marino to start MarinoVirtualBank, a full-service online bank targeted to affluent consumers.

MarinoVirtualBank provides consumers with checking, savings, money market and IRA accounts; CDs; credit cards; and auto, mortgage and personal loans. The bank, modeled after its parent company, divides its business between private banking and wealth management services for individuals with $2 million to $5 million in assets under management. It also offers full-service banking for consumers earning an annual income of at least $70,000.

"Marino has contacts with a network of high-net-worth individuals such as athletes and local business affiliates. He will also grab a lot of consumers through his large fan base," said Courtney McCashland, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at VirtualBank, Palm Beach Gardens, FL. She said the bank chose to partner with Marino because he was one of its initial investors.

MarinoVirtualBank is marketing itself primarily through public relations and word of mouth to Marino's network of colleagues, McCashland said. However, the company plans to start offline and online marketing campaigns in the future. She declined to be specific about potential marketing strategies.

Marino will donate 100 percent of his share of the bank proceeds to personal charities, including The Dan Marino Foundation, which supports integrated treatment programs for children with chronic illnesses and developmental disabilities.

VirtualBank markets its flagship services through private-label programs in which the company provides inhouse financial portals for corporations and through affiliate online marketing campaigns with Web sites targeting its core demographic.

"Through our private-label program, we target corporations that have a relatively affluent work force," McCashland said.

VirtualBank has roughly $2.8 billion under management through its wealth management business, while its full-service consumer banking business has accrued roughly $300 million. In addition to its national online presence, the company has retail locations in Palm Beach Gardens and Rockville, MD.

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