Banesco USA Names Calixto (Cali) Garcia-Velez as New President and CEO

MIAMI, Oct. 14, 2021– Banesco USA’s Board of Directors (“Board”) announces that Mario Oliva will step down as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective October 12, 2021, to pursue new opportunities.  He is succeeded by Calixto (Cali) Garcia-Velez.

“The Board of Directors would like to express its appreciation for Mario’s management of the bank during the last two years. The institution made significant progress in executing its strategic plans during his tenure,” said Carlos Palomares, Chairman of Banesco USA.

A Miami native, Mr. Garcia-Velez is an experienced banker in the South Florida and Puerto Rico markets with vast knowledge of the banking industry. Mr. Palomares continued, “Cali’s successful track record is an ideal match for the bank’s appetite for growth. His appointment also reinforces the bank’s commitment to our local communities as well as delivery of outstanding service to our clients.”

Mr. Garcia-Velez commented on his appointment as the new President & CEO of Banesco USA, “I am excited to enhance and continue building upon Banesco USA’s unique value proposition and strengths. Given the recent industry consolidation, we have a great opportunity to increase our market share in our targeted lines of business including commercial, corporate, real estate, and consumer banking for both domestic and international clients.”

He also added, “Banesco’s innovative product offerings and technological services caught my attention as being best in class within the community banking sector. This combined with their personalized delivery model makes a perfect combination for a great client experience.”

Since 2009, Mr. Garcia-Velez served as the Executive Vice President of First BanCorp and as Regional Executive of FirstBank Florida, a subsidiary of First BanCorp (NYSE: FBP). He oversaw the management and operations for FirstBank Florida.

Prior to that, Cali had a very successful career with Citibank, where he served in various roles that included: President of Citibank Florida, and Business Manager across several markets in the United States. He also served as President and CEO of Doral Bank, in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Mr. Garcia-Velez is a graduate of the University of Miami, where he received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He has been involved in his community for many years, currently serving on the Board of Directors of the United Way of Miami, The Beacon Council, the Alliance for South Florida National Parks Trust, and was recently named to the Florida Bankers Association Board of Directors.  He also serves as a Guardian ad Litem volunteer.

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About Banesco USA
Founded in 2006 and based in Coral Gables, Banesco USA is an independent Florida state-chartered bank with $2.56 billion in assets as of June 30, 2022. The bank has four branches in South Florida: Coral Gables, Hialeah, Aventura, and Brickell; and one in San Juan, Puerto Rico. A location in the Doral area is coming soon. Visit for additional information.

Media Contacts

Jessica Wade Pfeffer | 305-804-8424 |
Tyler Sminkey | 786-390-8510 |



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