Farewell from Jon Evans

by Jon Evans
Former President & CEO

What a great run!  I was lucky enough to spend 20 years at ACBB with 18 as CEO.  I’ve met so many fine and talented people during that time.  Just as important, I have gained a true and deep appreciation for the value of community banks and the difference they make, most notably funding the needs of their communities, both the people and their businesses.  They also keep their customers monies safe; donate charitable dollars and sweat equity to their communities; provide jobs; and deliver the personal touch, which is truly the foundation of our industry, while embracing the future with electronic banking solutions.

When I arrived at ACBB in 1999, we were preparing for the unknown challenges of Y2K.  While Y2K became a non-event, the terrorist attacks and economic downturn, which followed along with the Great Recession, were far more problematic and challenged our industry as a whole.  Working through those challenges has made us stronger and better prepared for the unknown ahead of us.

Since joining ACBB, we expanded our footprint from five to 11 states.  Our technology company, BITS, which we started in 2005, provides telecommunication services to over 100 financial institutions in 17 states.  Our compliance business – Compliance Anchor – provides services to 115 financial institutions in 15 states.  Financially we fared well, increasing capital at an 18% annualized rate, which has resulted in strong capital ratios (a leverage ratio of 12.6%), while noting our current Texas Ratio is below 1%.  Bank rating agencies have consistently provided us a B+ to A rating.

Our recent challenge of an aggregators role as relates to BSA/AML is being met with enthusiasm and success.  The expense related to beefing up our risk management practices was significant, but with the exception of compliance personnel, were mostly one-time expenses.  This was most notable in 4Q 2019 when consulting expenses peaked negatively impacting earnings.  Our core earnings engine is strong and the outlook for 2020 is much more favorable.

I feel very good about the ACBB team, especially with Craig Howie at the helm as CEO.  Craig and the team will continue to help community banks make a difference.  I’m especially excited about the commitment to product development and the potential increase in value to our customers. Bank AnoVa and virtual card solutions are two of the services Craig and the team have brought to the table. Keep an eye out for those!  I am also looking forward to retirement with the new team in place.

I would like to thank our Boards of Directors that I’ve been associated with throughout the years, my fellow employees and you, our customers.  You made the journey worthwhile.  It has been an honor to serve you and I sincerely wish everyone the best.  Go Community Banking!