News | March 28, 2017

Leumi Launches Water Division, Expanding U.S. Commercial Banking Business

New bank practice area focuses on providing financing solutions to the water industry

Leumi announced it has expanded its U.S. Commercial Banking business into the water sector, an area in which the Leumi Group has long operated in the Israeli market. Currently a $500B dollar market in the U.S. and growing exponentially,[i] water is a logical next step in the expansion of the bank's U.S. Commercial Banking group.

Current projections suggest that by 2030 water will be scarcer than oil, with demand outstripping supply by 40 percent.[ii] Additionally, close to half the world's population will be living in water-stressed areas. Israel has been at the forefront of tackling these challenges and promoting innovative water technology, making strides in desalinization, water metering, water equipment, drip irrigation and more. Leumi's U.S. team will leverage 50+ years of experience in commercial banking, and borrow on the water expertise of their Israeli counterparts, to focus on water equipment and materials, water meters, industrial water treatment, reclamation and reuse, and desalinization.

"The focus on water is intensifying. An estimated $1T[iii] in new investment is needed just to rehabilitate the current U.S. water infrastructure over the next two decades," said Shawn McGowen, Leumi's Head of Commercial Banking in the U.S. "With many water-focused companies looking to expand internationally, now is the right time for us to enter this sector. We have the unique advantage of a strong partnership with our parent company and can readily leverage its experience and resources. Simply put, Leumi can provide water-focused companies with full-service banking wherever they do business."

Much like the technology sector, in which Leumi is also active, the water industry can present unique challenges for banks. Many water innovations come from startups or require long lead-times (e.g., the building of a desalinization plant), so banks may not be equipped to address these needs. Leumi has risen to the challenge by developing a unique set of products and services specifically for water-focused companies, including lending, equipment financing, foreign exchange services and cash management products.

"The water sector is exciting and presents opportunities for real growth," says Douglas Meyer, the Group Head leading Leumi's expansion into the water sector. "There is incredible interest from the market, both on the banking and the investment sides. We are positioned to capitalize on this growing industry with our holistic, relationship-based approach to our clients' banking needs."

Leumi's Commercial Banking division specializes in serving various industries, including commercial & industrial, healthcare, media & entertainment, high tech, apparel and real estate. Its bankers focus on market areas with the most growth potential and work closely with a diverse roster of clients in each sector to develop custom solutions that best support their business needs.

For more information about Leumi's water practice, visit:

About Leumi
Bank Leumi USA (Leumi) is a full-service commercial and private banking institution providing financial services to middle market firms, as well as a full range of private banking solutions to domestic and international clients. Leumi also offers a broad range of securities and insurance products through its brokerage subsidiary, Leumi Investment Services Inc. For more information, visit

[i] "A Blue Revolution - Global Water Research"; Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research; November 7, 2012

[ii] "A Blue Revolution - Global Water Research"; Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research; November 7, 2012

[iii] "Drinking Water - Infrastructure Report Card"; American Water Works Association; 2017 

Source: Leumi