New President Has Big Plans for National Capital Bank

National Capital Bank’s president and chief executive officer, Richard B. “Randy” Anderson Jr. Photo: Andrew Lightman

Richard B. “Randy” Anderson Jr. is a fit and imposing man, with a heart of gold and big plans for the National Capital Bank (NCB).

Anderson was announced as president and chief executive officer of NCB in May, along with Thomas A. Barnes as the bank’s chairman of the board. The new appointments come after several years of management transition following the sudden death of Chairman and CEO Richard A. Didden in 2013.

Surviving brother James M. Didden, former president and current director, might have been the obvious choice. “I have been in banking for 48 years now,” he has stated, “and it’s time for me to step back. I’ll continue to work daily to support Randy and Tom. In addition, I’ll remain on the board of directors to help steer an exciting the course for the future.”

In 2015 NCB was rated one of the most profitable banks and had the highest return on assets of the 39 banks in the greater Washington region, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). However, the board of directors saw challenges to overcome and initiated a search to find the right leadership to guide the bank into the future.

Anderson, who most recently served with United Bank, is candid in his initial assessment. “The bank had in recent years, because of the turnover in leadership, lost some momentum,” he said. “The bank does not seem to have positioned itself to take advantage of what I see as significant opportunities in surrounding markets. There are all sorts of exciting things happening down on the Southwest and Southeast waterfronts, in the H Street corridor, and over in Anacostia. NCB needs to be a part of that.”

Although NCB is profitable, assets are down and Anderson is refocusing on doing what community banks are supposed to do best – serve the community in which they reside. If successful, Anderson thinks new branches are possible in suburban Northern Virginia as well as a location in midtown DC, but first the bank needs to take advantage of opportunities in its own backyard. “I see my job as getting us more engaged in our surrounding communities and looking around for new opportunities,” Anderson said. “I believe this is a terrific market … I’ve been in the metro DC area as a banker for 40 years so I’ve gotten pretty good exposure to all those markets, and I look at what’s happening around Capitol Hill and I’m excited.”

Anderson wants to refocus on NCB’s lending to small and mid-sized businesses and views the target market to be transactions between $100,000 and $3 million in funding. However, he is also keen to stay connected with what makes Capitol Hill such a vibrant neighborhood. “This bank has historically had a good balance in terms of being a banker to both the business sector and local residents. The bank has also historically been very engaged in the community through charitable support and volunteerism,” he observed. “I think the key to being a successful bank is to be an active member of the community.”

NCB has a distinguished record of charitable giving through the National Capital Bank Foundation, having supported notable projects like the Hill Center, Capitol Hill Baseball & Softball, the rebuilding of Eastern Market, and support to scores of other nonprofit organizations.

According to Nicky Cymrot, president of the board of directors of the Capitol Hill Foundation, “the NCB has always considered itself an important part of the community. George Didden was one of our founding members and was always generous. I am appreciative of the bank’s efforts to foster good projects and important initiatives in the community, and trust that Randy will continue that spirit and tradition.”

David Glaser, an NCB vice president, coordinates the bank’s giving program. Funding requests are reviewed on a quarterly basis.

While on the job for just under 60 days, Anderson says there have been very few internal issues to address. “I came in following an interim president, and he set the stage for a smooth transition.”

He commutes from his home in McLean and is in his office by 8 a.m. He has a morning routine of scanning favorite banking industry publications and local and national news for about an hour and then tackling the day’s agenda. “I’ve been spending time meeting with staff, key customers, and vendors so I can get to know them. I have also started a little rainmaking by reaching out to my longtime contacts and referral sources to generate new business activity for the bank,” said Anderson. “We’re also looking at staffing right now with a focus on key operating and business development positions. An added bonus has been our ability to identify local talent. Our two newest employees come from the neighborhood and are able to walk to work.”

While it is unlikely that he will move to the Hill, Anderson is committed to replicating his prior dedication to community engagement as he becomes more familiar with the District. “I’m going to look for opportunities where I can come in and contribute. I previously served on the Arlington Community Foundation, am a director of Leadership Arlington and the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing, and have served on the Arlington Chamber and Northern Virginia Chambers of Commerce. I understand that it’s something I need to do if I’m going to be effective in my role here. I have to learn more about the community, and the best way to learn more is to get involved,” said Anderson.

Anderson is an avid reader and prefers historical nonfiction and biographies. His favorite author is Erik Larson. He’s currently reading the “Mathews Men,” a story about merchant mariners from Mathews County, Va., who played a vital, yet little known role in World War II. Anderson and his wife have two grown sons, one a doctor in Boston and the other a lawyer here in the District.

When asked what he wants his neighbors to know, Anderson replied, “I’d like to thank this community for being as supportive as they have been of the bank. I believe NCB has always been an active and engaged member of the community, and we’re looking forward to more of the same.”

When asked what people would be surprised to learn about him personally, Anderson belied the stereotypical banker persona. “I am a compassionate and caring person. I want people that I work with and customers to know that I want the best outcome for them. I’ve been dedicated to this premise throughout my entire career. People can sense when someone has their best interest at heart. I think that is what builds relationships.”

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