Become A Member!
This is a printer friendly page!
American National Bankshares’ Vision Of Being
Their Communities’ Premier Provider Of Financial Services On A Relationship
Basis Is Giving Them A Leg Up On The Larger Financial Institution
Competitors As Well As Start-Ups
Regional – Mid-Atlantic Banks
American National Bankshares Inc.
628 Main Street
Danville, VA 24541
Charles H. Majors
President, CEO and Director
Interview conducted by:
Walter Banks, Publisher
Published – December 21, 2007
Charles H. Majors is President & Chief Executive Officer of American
National Bankshares Inc. and its banking subsidiary, American National Bank
and Trust Company. He received his undergraduate degree from Auburn
University and his law degree from the University of Virginia. He practiced
law for twenty years with an emphasis on business law. He became president
in 1993 and chief executive officer in 1994.
American National Bankshares Inc. is
the holding company of American National Bank and Trust Company, a community
bank serving Southern and Central Virginia and the northern portion of
Central North Carolina with twenty banking offices and a loan production
provides a full array of financial products and services, including
commercial, mortgage and consumer banking; trust and investment services;
CEOCFO: Mr. Majors, how long have you been
with American National Bankshares and what changes have we seen under your
Mr. Majors: “I have been with American
National Bankshares for 15 years. I was a practicing attorney prior to
making a career change to become a banker. I came into banking at a very
interesting time, when community banking was beginning to change from the
old concept of “we are here to serve the customer, and they will come in
when they want something done for them”. During that period of time, it
changed to today’s situation, which is we have to be proactive in providing
our products and services and making sure that our customers and people that
we want to have as customers know what we have to offer. Therefore, we have
to be sales people as well as service people.”
CEOCFO: Please tell us about your vision
for American National Bankshares.
Mr. Majors: “Our vision is to be our
communities’ premier provider of financial services on a relationship basis
and that is to make sure that we are successful by building a relationship
with our customers over time. That is the way we compete against the larger
financial institutions and the way we compete against start-ups as well.”
CEOCFO: What else sets you apart from
Mr. Majors: “What sets us apart from our
competition is that we have employees here who understand our customers and
work to develop relationships with them. We have been able to attract
employees from other organizations and also develop employees here who
understand banking, but more importantly understand the needs of the
CEOCFO: What do you look for on the
management side to help grow your organization?
Mr. Majors: “We always looking for
people who understand people and who like to work with other people, because
the most important thing is to develop relationships. It is important for
our customers to understand that we are here to help them be successful,
both in terms of their businesses and in terms of their personal livers.
Therefore, we work with them to do that. We also are looking for people who
want to provide good customer service, but who also are able to provide that
sales element as well.”
CEOCFO: Tell us about the areas that
your branches are located in and why its that you are there?
Mr. Majors: “We are primarily in the
southern and central parts of Virginia, although we are right on the North
Carolina line and have some business in the northern part of North Carolina.
We are in an area that has gone through a difficult time in the past 10 to
15 years. It was primarily a manufacturing area, with emphasis on furniture,
textiles, and tobacco. All of these industries have suffered significantly,
both nationally and in this area. Therefore, we have had to regroup and
reinvent the economy in this area and we have done that; we have bottomed
out and we are beginning to move back in the positive direction now.
Although we are still very heavily into manufacturing, we have diversified
into more businesses, each with fewer employees. We have been successful
recently in bringing in new businesses into the area, including
international companies, which are putting facilities in the United States.
Therefore, instead of businesses going off shore as we had with tobacco,
textiles and furniture, we are seeing them come back onshore in this area.”
CEOCFO: How has all of this affected
Mr. Majors: “Certainly it affected us
initially, but we have changed from being more of a consumer bank to being
more of a small business bank over the past 15 years. It also has meant that
we have had to work very hard to help small businesses grow in this area and
be a part of the economic development organizations and the activities to
promote development and reengineering of the economy here.”
CEOCFO; Are you looking to grow your
bank right now and if so, do you grow by de novo or acquisitions or both?
Mr. Majors: “Our plan calls for us to
look at growth in all areas. We look to do organic growth in our current
markets and we are have been successful in that, although not as much as we
would like. We have done acquisitions; in fact we did one in Lynchburg, VA,
in 2006, and we are looking at other opportunities now. We also have done de
novo branching. We recently opened one new branch and we will be opening
another one early next year.”
CEOCFO: Is there much consolidation of
bank going on in that area?
Mr. Majors: “Consolidation is going on
in Virginia and North Carolina, but it is mostly with the smaller banks that
are seeing the need, because of more and more regulations and the resulting
costs. Therefore, that offers us some opportunities.”
CEOCFO: Having said all of that, what do
you need to do to further grow your bank?
Mr. Majors: “We look first for
opportunities in our existing markets to pick up a larger part of the market
share in traditional banking services, but also to improve with fee income.
We have a strong trust department and the larger banks are pulling out of
many of our market areas. This gives us an opportunity to grow our trust and
investment services area. In addition, we must look at what new areas are
compatible with our culture and our style of operation, so that we can grow
in those areas, but not change what makes us different from our
CEOCFO: How many banks do you have and
how do you manage such are large organization?
Mr. Majors: “We have 20 regular banking
offices and we have 1 loan production office. We have them divided into 3
regions. Each region has a regional executive and those regional executives
report up to the chief operating officer.”
CEOCFO: Please address potential
investors and tell us why they should consider American National Bankshares
at this time.
Mr. Majors: “First, our management team
is very good at operating the organization in a very profitable manner. We
have low overhead, a good return on assets and a good return on equity. We
have great employees who are building long-term customer relationships. We
provide a very strong dividend that is very attractive to people today. Our
dividend now is over 4%, based on current market price. We are undervalued
compared with other peer banks in larger, faster-growth markets.”
CEOCFO: Finally, do you have the funds
needed to continue to grow your organization or will you have to go to the
markets to raise capital?
Mr. Majors: “No, we are well
capitalized. We leveraged some of that capital with the last acquisition
that we did, but we are still well capitalized. We have plenty of equity to
do the transactions that we need to do and to grow in the way that we want
to in the next several years.”
Any reproduction or further distribution of this
article without the express written consent of CEOCFOinterviews.com is prohibited.