New Century Bancorp (NCBN.OB)
Interview with:
John Q. Shaw, President and CEO
Business News, Financial News, Stocks, Money & Investment Ideas, CEO Interview
and Information on their
community bank headquartered in Dunn, NC, offering a full line products for personal and business accounts.

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New Century Bank is a community bank distinguishing itself with local service and decision-making

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Financial
Community Bank
(NCBN.OB)

New Century Bancorp

700 West Cumberland Street
Dunn, NC 28334
Phone: 910-892-7080


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John Q. Shaw
President and
Chief Executive Officer

Interview conducted by:
Lynn Fosse
Senior Editor

CEOCFOinterviews.com
November 2003

BIO:
JOHN Q. SHAW, JR.


EXPERIENCE

NEW CENTURY BANK
10/99 to Present
President & CEO: Startup of a New Community Bank in Dunn. Opened for business May 24, 2000.

BRANCH BANKING AND TRUST:
08/97 to 10/99
Senior Vice-President; Commercial City Executive (08/97 to 10/99) Supervise 3 offices. Responsibilities include marketing, business development, profit planning, budgetary controls, twenty-three employees and three officers. BB&T purchased UCB in 1997. The reorganization moved Lee County into another region. Retired 10/99.

UNITED CAROLINA BANK:
11/72 to 08/97
Senior Vice-President; Regional Executive Harnett/Lee Counties (12/94 to 08/97) Supervise six offices. Responsibilities include marketing, business development profit planning, budgetary controls, forty-seven employees, with eleven officers.

Senior Vice-President; County Executive Harnett County (12/90 to 12/94) Supervise four offices with thirty-nine employees and eight officers.

Vice-President; Area Executive Harnett/Sampson Counties (4/88 to 12/90) Supervised seven offices and sixty-one employees. UCB reorganized and moved away from the area concept. 

Vice-President; City Executive, Elizabethtown, N. C. (11/73 to 04/88) Opened office and grew to $22.7 million in deposits and $12.5 million in loans.

Assistant Vice-President; City Executive, Clarkton N. C. (11/72 to 11/73) Supervised small office with $6 million in deposits and $3 million in loans.

USDA FARMERS HOME ADMINISTRATION:
05/67 to 11/72
County Supervisor Bladen County; Elizabethtown, N. C. (05/71 to 11/72) Supervised office operations, three assistants and three clerks. Administration of the third largest loan program in N. C.

Assistant County Supervisor Vance County, Henderson, N. C. (05/67 to 05/71) Worked with all loan programs, public relations, work scheduling and planning. 

N. C. AGRICULTRUE EXTENSION SERVICE:
06/64 to 05/67
Assistant County Agent; Lenoir and Hendersonville, N. C. (06/64 to 05/67) Provided assistance to farmers, public relations, scheduling and planning.

EDUCATION

FORMAL AND BUSINESS:
1964 Bachelor of Science in Agriculture:  NC State University
1976 Certificate: School of Banking, University of North Carolina
1980 Certificate: School of Banking of the South, Louisiana State University
Computer Skills: MS-DOS, Windows, Windows 95, Word, Excel and WordPerfect 

ACHIEVEMENTS AND COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
Active in Rural and Economic Development in Harnett County, Bladen County and Eastern N. C. 

Harnett County: Chairman; Economic Development Commission 1988 to 1995 Secretary; Dunn Committee of 100 (which operates the Triangle South Enterprise Center {Small Business Incubator} and manages a FmHA $2.8 million intermediary re-lending program), Former Board member Heritage Bible College, Harnett County Airport Committee. Past President; Dunn Rotary Club (1999-2000). President Dunn Area Chamber of Commerce.

Bladen County: Chairman; Economic Development 1978 to 1982, Chairman and Member; Social Services Board 1982 to 1988. County Commissioner 1984 to 1988, Volunteer of The Year, 1986 N. C. Industrial Developers Association.

Eastern North Carolina: Chairman; Mid-Carolina SBA Certified Development Company for six counties 1990 to 1998. Member; Central Carolina Community College Foundation, 1992 to present. Board of Trustees; Central Carolina Community College.

Company Profile:
New Century Bank (NCBN.OB) is a community bank headquartered in Dunn, NC, with offices in Clinton, NC, and Dunn, NC, and a new office in Fayetteville, NC. New Century currently serves Harnett, Johnston, Sampson and Cumberland counties. The Bank offers a full line of personal and business accounts for everything from your most basic needs to the most robust banking solutions. Products offered to commercial customers include: Small Business Account, Community Checking, Commercial Checking Account, Commercial Interest Checking, Small Business Savings, Sweep Account and Business Money Rate Investment. To meet the needs of personal customers, New Century Bank’s offers, Basic Checking, Senior Citizens Checking, Student Checking Account, Regular Checking, Century Now Checking, Century Club Account and Century Gold Checking. In addition, the Bank also offers On-Line Banking services that were designed to make managing your personal finances easy and convenient from the comforts of home or office for both personal and business customers.
 
New Century Bank offers a variety of loans to meet the needs of our business customers, including equipment and vehicle financing, commercial real estate loans, construction lending, lines of credit and more. Customers can also take advantage of a true Business Credit Card that allows multiple cards with different credit limits and one statement, which is an outstanding financial and cash management tool. In addition, the Bank also offers personal loans and credit cards (Visa and Master Card) to meet the needs of our personal customers. For customers looking to invest New Century Bank provides Certificates of Deposit (CDs) and Individual Retirement Accounts. To meet the needs of customers in the local Latin American community, the Banks provides printed and online information on its products and services in both English and Spanish.

CEOCFOinterviews: Mr. Shaw, what was your vision when you started New Century Bank and have you achieved your original goals?

Mr. Shaw: “Our vision was to provide our community with a community bank that would be attuned to the needs of the customer base in our market. That has been so successful, that we have been able to expand into other markets. We anticipated a fifty-million dollar community bank into the end of the third year. At the end of the third year, we were almost a one hundred-and-fifty-million dollar bank. We feel that we have achieved our goal of being a premiere community bank in our market area.”

CEOCFOinterviews: Will you tell us a little about the economy in the area that you serve?

Mr. Shaw: “Our economy has been like many small communities. We have suffered from the loss of jobs.   Although we are close to Fayetteville and Raleigh, North Carolina, both of which are large job markets, in the past they have also experienced high unemployment in downturns. Therefore, our folks who have lost jobs here did not have markets to go to. It is beginning to come back now, but it has been tough as far as that is concerned. Our small business market has suffered from that, but most of them have been able to survive.”

CEOCFOinterviews: You mentioned that you are attuned to your customer base; what does that mean for New Century?

Mr. Shaw: “We use the theme “Neighbor helping neighbor,” and that is what community banking means to us.  Customers come in, they’re known by me and by others here, and they have somebody who is a contact in the bank that they know by name.   Customers don’t have to use an 800-number to make arrangements for loans or check balances; if they want to come in and talk to somebody, they can. Not many people come in that someone hasn’t already called them by name before they leave the bank. I think that, and the fact that we have the local decision-making, makes a great deal of difference to customers; they feel important, not only to the bank but they feel like they are an asset to the bank.”

CEOCFOinterviews: About how much of your business is commercial, how much consumer, and do you see the mix changing?

Mr. Shaw: “Our bank is heavily commercial as far as lending is concerned. We do consumer loans, but it is a small portion of our business right now.  Most people are using home equity loans and other ways to borrow money as opposed to what they used to do five or ten years ago when they were borrowing a lot of unsecured personal money.  We see most of ours staying in the commercial realm. We do mortgage loans and those types of things that help build the consumer market. I think for the long run we will be primarily commercial, but we try hard to meet the needs of the consumer also.”

CEOCFOinterviews: How do you reach your potential customers?

Mr. Shaw: “Word-of-mouth has been the best advertising that we have had. We do spend some money on newspaper ads and a little on radio advertising, but most of our advertising is word-of-mouth and the community supporting our efforts. We also have a large stockholder base that has supported their investment in the bank.”

CEOCFOinterviews: Is there a particular type of business that you tend to work with?

Mr. Shaw: “We tend to work with smaller businesses that are owner-operated and ‘mom and pop’ type businesses, not large corporate customers.”

CEOCFOinterviews: I noticed on your website that you have information in Spanish..Is there a big need for that in your area?

Mr. Shaw: “It is becoming more of a need in our area because of the Hispanic community, and that is the reason we have done that. We are beginning to build a trade here and have hired people from that community, so that our Hispanic neighbors would feel comfortable when they come in our offices.”

CEOCFOinterviews: Your mission statement indicates that you are “providing employees a stimulating and secure place to work and also to provide unparalleled friendly, courteous service.” What do you look for in your people and how do you work with them to encourage them to treat your customers the way you would like them to be treated?

Mr. Shaw: “We have hired people we know in the community who have experience and have the philosophy that they want to know their customers and provide the best possible service. I think that is the key when you hire people, that they have that desire. Usually you can tell that from where they are working, and that is why we try to do it one-on-one. We will have someone recommend somebody and we try to find out about them before we talk to them. We constantly remind our staff and ourselves that the customer is number one. We empower them to assist customers for whatever their needs are, and do it at their location, whether they’re a teller, the customer service representative or a clerk, so that the customer doesn’t have to be delayed if they have a problem.  Or, they can find someone to give an approval if that is needed; but, we give a great deal of authority to each person on our staff to make things work for our customers.”

CEOCFOinterviews: Why the recent formation of New Century Bancorp?

Mr. Shaw: “We formed the Bancorp for several reasons.  The timing was somewhat driven by our partnering with a group in the Fayetteville, North Carolina market who had   anticipated opening a community bank in that market. They sold our bank stock there and opened a branch in June.  Through the holding company, they will become a separate bank – New Century Bank of Fayetteville.  This will be the only community bank in that market, and it will be owned by the holding company, which will be a two-bank holding company. We will have New Century Bank and New Century Bank of Fayetteville.  That gives them a local board of directors and a local president so that they can be more attuned to that community.”

CEOCFOinterviews: Do you see additional branches in the future?

Mr. Shaw: “We have just announced a branch in Goldsboro, and we will be going into that market between now and Christmas.”

CEOCFOinterviews: How do you decide when to go and where to go?

Mr. Shaw: “Primarily, we look at the market size and the competition. The key to going into any market is finding a banker in that market that has the following and the business already in-place in another institution, and also if that banker is interested in getting into true banking, which is community banking and not working for somebody that might not be in-tune with their community. We will go into that community where that person is the market leader in that community. This is where we feel there is more success, even more so than any surveys you can do in the market.”

CEOCFOinterviews: Is there much competition from other community banks in the area and how do you differ from the smaller banks?

Mr. Shaw: “In any of our markets, we really don’t have another community bank of our size. We can distinguish ourselves with local service and decision-making. We have not tried to purposefully go into a community that has a community bank with which to compete. We have one in this market, but it originated in the old savings and loans and they have a different market attitude than we do.”

CEOCFOinterviews: Will you tell us about community involvement for the bank?

Mr. Shaw: “Everyone on our staff is involved in something in the community, and we give them time out of the office to do that during the day, as well as many of us being involved in activities after work. Primarily, we are involved with the school systems, the Chamber of Commerce, and also mentoring and reading in the schools. We have employees that go out and help tutor some children during the day for thirty minutes to an hour. Other than that, we have someone involved in any of the community activities, whether it is the cancer fund or heart fund. We try to be very proactive in the community.”

CEOCFOinterviews: Is online banking a big feature for you?

Mr. Shaw: “It is not a big feature; it is one of those features that we have to have because we have folks that do not care whether they come to the bank or not, they just want to use the online service. However, they know that if they need somebody or something, they can always come by or make a phone call. We do have a good number of our customers that use it for convenience when they are working at home and want to access their accounts.”

CEOCFOinterviews: Are there any services that you are not offering now that you feel you would like to in the future?

Mr. Shaw: “Right now, there is nothing on the drawing boards.  At some point in time we will look at offering insurance services, but not right now.”

CEOCFOinterviews: Why should potential investors be interested in New Century?

Mr. Shaw: “All potential investors have to do is look at our track-record.  We were profitable in the seventh month of operation and have been profitable ever since. We are still growing and adding offices and still maintaining profitability, as opposed to some who started out and lost a lot of money.  We never did.  In our first year, we lost only about two hundred thousand dollars. In 2001, we made almost six hundred thousand dollars, and in 2002, we made over eight hundred thousand dollars, and we are on tap to do better this year, even with the expenses involved in opening other offices. Our last stock offering was over solicited by about three million dollars, so we had to return that money to the respective stockholders. We have very few trades, because folks do not want to sell their stock. We sold our first shares at eleven dollars, and they are currently trading at sixteen.  We have done two 10% stock dividends, so original stockholders have a little over nine dollars in their stock and we trade at sixteen.  I think that has been a tremendous return on investment in the last three years or so.”

CEOCFOinterviews: Do you have any concerns going forward and how are you prepared to meet the challenges?

Mr. Shaw: “Going forward is challenging.  With interest rates where they are, margins are tight.   Also, finding markets to continue our growth will be a challenge, because we want to be an acquirer and not a seller. We are in it for the long run.  We have to be able to get to the five hundred million-dollar in assets range in the next three-to-five years to be able to maintain our presence in the communities we are in. That is one of the reasons we have chosen the markets in Fayetteville and Goldsboro--to augment what we have done here.”

CEOCFOinterviews: As CEO, what is your typical day?

Mr. Shaw: “The day gets going before I get started. The normal routine is receiving and answering emails and looking at the numbers, talking to the management team to see what has been happening with them, meeting and working with the board of directors, and meeting with potential customers. We try to move into other markets, so one has to spend time talking to other people in other markets and trying to find new opportunities. But it does seem like the day gets by before I get halfway started.”

CEOCFOinterviews: In closing, what would you like readers to remember about New Century Bank?

Mr. Shaw: “I think we have a good story to tell.  Not many banks that start up make profits in seven months and continue to be profitable and grow each month and quarter. We are blessed that we are able to do that.  I give credit to the staff, our stockholders and our customers.”

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