Barely a month into its arrival in the Richmond market, the new bank on the block is wasting little time luring local talent.
TowneBank, which made a bold move into Richmond earlier this year by acquiring Franklin Federal Savings Bank, has begun padding its local lending and executive ranks by poaching veteran area bankers.
One of its first big moves is the addition of Richard Dickinson, a top executive from Midlothian-based Bank of Virginia.
A longtime local banker who spent decades with SunTrust and its predecessors, Dickinson will be a part of TowneBank’s Richmond management team as senior credit officer. The University of Richmond graduate will resign from his post as president and COO of Bank of Virginia, effective Feb. 6, after four years with the bank.
Pat Collins, head of TowneBank’s Richmond operations, said the bank has a track record of attracting talent in all of its markets.
“In every market they’ve gone to, they hire bankers that have grown up there, that know the market and are well-connected in the community,” said Collins, himself a veteran of the local banking scene who was most recently with StellarOne Bank. “We’re attracting and building a great team of well-established, well-known bankers.”
With Dickinson, TowneBank saw the chance to nab a banker who can help it manage its local loan portfolio that sits at more than $500 million and growing, Collins said.
“Richmond is a big investment for TowneBank,” he said. “It just makes sense to have an executive senior credit officer here that knows the players in Richmond and can work here quickly with loan officers so we can very quickly make decisions.”
Jack Zoeller, CEO of Bank of Virginia, said he wishes Dickinson well in his new position.
“He did a fantastic job for us for over four years,” Zoeller said. “He came from a much larger bank that itself was the product of mergers. He’s a career Virginia banker who has managed credit in some of the great large institutions in the state.
“We thank him for everything and we wish him the best.”
TowneBank seems to have acquired a taste for former Richmond SunTrust employees.
It has also brought on Brad Booker, who was a longtime commercial lending executive at SunTrust, and Matthew Scott from SunTrust’s private wealth management operations.
Through that recruiting and with some staff who came over from Franklin Federal, TowneBank now has a team of eight experienced commercial loan producers in Richmond who will focus on commercial real estate loans and loans to homebuilders and other large borrowers.
TowneBank, a $6 billion institution from Hampton Roads, acquired Franklin Federal last month in a deal valued at $275 million. The move gave TowneBank an instant presence in the market with eight branches and an established staff.
As it continues to get acclimated with the market and grow its presence here, Collins said TowneBank isn’t done recruiting.
“TowneBank’s model is we’re always on the lookout for great talent,” he said.