Banks lure more talent as merger looms

Randy Greene, left, and Eric Nost.

Randy Greene, left, and Eric Nost.

Another local finance veteran is betting on the upside of the pending combination of Bank of Lancaster and Virginia Commonwealth Bank.

The banks said Monday that Eric Nost, longtime head of the wealth management arm of local competitor C&F Bank, has signed on to lead the soon-to-merge banks’ newly created Virginia Commonwealth Bank Trust and Wealth Management.

Nost, who spent 22 years at C&F, said his last day there was Friday and he clocked in at Bank of Lancaster on Monday in preparation for the merger closing on April 1.

“A lot of people were saying, ‘Why in the world would you leave?’” Nost said. “I just couldn’t see letting an opportunity like this pass by.”

At VCB, the VMI and Liberty University grad will oversee a wealth management operation about half the size of the $400 million in assets managed by C&F Wealth Management. Nost expressed confidence in his new employer’s plans to grow from there.

“We’re looking to ramp it up very quickly by making some significant hires and perhaps by acquiring some production shops in the Richmond area,” Nost said.

The combined companies will be headquartered at 1801 Bayberry Court in the West End.

The combined companies will be headquartered at 1801 Bayberry Court in the West End.

The addition of Nost follows the hire earlier this year of Gary Armstrong, a longtime commercial banker who will be the combined bank’s Richmond market head. Armstrong left a similar position last year at Park Sterling Bank.

The companies, which will operate under the Virginia Commonwealth Bank flag, signed a lease for their new combined headquarters in Richmond – 12,000 square feet at 1801 Bayberry Court in the West End.

“This is one of the final pieces that pulls this puzzle together,” Randy Greene, CEO of Bank of Lancaster said of hiring Nost.

Post-merger, Greene will take the role of vice chairman and CEO of the combined bank and holding company. Current VCB CEO Frank Scott will serve as chairman of the holding company and president of the bank.

Nost said that dual-headed leadership team, along with his affinity for community banks, drew him to make the leap to VCB.

“There are two things that are important to me,” Nost said. “One is remaining independent. I’ve been assured by everyone that this is an organization that has its focus on remaining independent. I’m a community bank guy. You’ll never find me at a big bank.

“Number two is leadership. This is a team that is destined to grow this organization.”

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