James L. Prouty
Senior International Advisor
Jim is a native of New York. After starting his banking career with Chemical Bank and then obtaining an MBA at Columbia, Jim joined Bank of America where over a 23 year period he had assignments of increasing responsibility in Los Angeles, Mexico City, New York, London, Brussels, Amsterdam, Luxembourg, Frankfurt and Paris. A common thread running through all of Jim’s assignments has been improving under-performing businesses from a financial, credit or operational perspective. Jim spent the last 5 years of his career at the bank as SVP for Continental Europe where he centralized the bank’s European operations into a single processing center in London. Jim was then head-hunted to be EVP of Heller Financial’s EMEA division based in London. Two years later he was made President of the Heller International Group, which operated in 22 countries in Europe, Latin America and Asia. When Heller was acquired by GE Capital, Jim stayed on to help with the integration of GE’s and Heller’s commercial finance business globally before starting a consulting company focused on post M&A integration.
Throughout his career Jim has supported good causes, but in 2010 he decided to focus full time on helping socially and economically under-served communities starting with assignments in Mexico and India. In India, Jim worked on the board with Mary Houghton, one of the four Founders of the iconic Shorebank. Together they oversaw the restructuring of India’s largest microfinance and livelihood development businesses. Jim then became CEO of Sustainability-Finance-Real Economies (SFRE) a Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV) initiated fund designed to expand globally the number of small and medium-sized financial institutions dedicated to supporting real economy enterprises and individuals that deliver positive social, environmental and economic progress. One of SFRE’s investments was Southern Bancorp where Jim now sits on the board. Jim is also currently an advisor or board member of several other ESG oriented businesses from start-ups to the 130-year old Reliance Bank in London, which is the global banking arm of the Salvation Army. Jim has also served as President or Chair of numerous business and community-oriented charities including the Chamber of Commerce in Brussels, the European Council for Chambers of Commerce, the US Trade and Investment Center, the Boy Scouts of America, Victim Support and Duke of Edinburgh Award where he worked with the late Prince Philip helping children around the world achieve their ambitions.
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