John V. Anderson celebrates 75 years in group banking this 12 months. The chairman emeritus of F&M Financial institution provides us a glimpse of his life, his profession and the teachings he’s realized alongside the best way.
By Molly Bennett
F&M Financial institution
How do you seize a life in 1,000 phrases? The reply: with problem. And when that life takes within the Nice Despair, World Battle II and 75 years in group banking, the problem turns into extra acute. However right here goes nothing.
John V. Anderson, who’s 95, is chairman emeritus of F&M Financial institution in Crescent, Okla. Since shopping for it 50 years in the past, he has watched it develop from a single-branch group financial institution to at least one with 9 places throughout the state and $650 million in belongings. His three sons and one daughter are all concerned within the 100% family-owned enterprise, as are three of his grandchildren.
“And I’ve obtained great-grandchildren now which are starting to drive vehicles, in order that’s the subsequent wave that desires a job,” he laughs.
“In these 75 years, I’ve made a number of associates. I simply did one of the best I may at no matter job I had.”
—John V. Anderson, F&M Financial institution
Anderson’s household ties have at all times been sturdy. He was born right into a farming household in Choctaw, Okla., in 1927. His father’s household, members of the Residents Potawatomi Nation, farmed corn and cotton, and his mom got here from a produce farming household.
When Anderson was three, his father misplaced his job on the native utility firm. “We needed to skimp and save,” he says. “We picked cotton, and we chopped cotton and corn. We didn’t have a automotive, so we needed to stroll out to the fields. That made such an impression on me. So, each job I’ve had, I’d do one of the best job I may.”
In 1945, proper after highschool, he enlisted within the Navy, ending boot camp proper because the U.S. dropped the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He was stationed on an plane provider and took half in Operation Magic Carpet, which noticed U.S. troops gathering armed forces personnel from varied Pacific islands and dropping them off at San Diego or Pearl Harbor. “We have been part of a extremely joyful time, as a result of all people was coming residence,” Anderson says.
The banking journey begins
After he was discharged, he labored at a utility firm earlier than taking a job at Liberty Nationwide Financial institution in Oklahoma Metropolis in 1947. There, he labored his method up from messenger to teller to the correspondence division. The latter is the place he met his spouse, Jo Laverne, who’s 93.
“She labored about 10 ft from me … and I assumed she was a fairly handsome woman. I’d shoot a rubber band again there every now and then simply to get her consideration,” he laughs. The couple celebrated their 73rd wedding ceremony anniversary in September.
However again to 1972. That 12 months, Anderson was senior vice chairman of operations at Liberty when certainly one of his business connections, J.R. Gibson, who owned F&M Financial institution in Crescent, Okla., informed Anderson he was trying to promote attributable to well being issues.
“He mentioned, ‘In case you are , you’d be my first alternative,’” Anderson says. “I mentioned, ‘J.R., let me inform you that I don’t have any cash, I’ve no web price and I’ve no secondary supply of earnings. However I’ll see what I can do.’”
Anderson went to some colleagues at Liberty Nationwide Financial institution, they usually agreed to think about loaning him the $548,000 he wanted—about $4 million as we speak. “And I assumed, when you make me a mortgage, you’re in all probability the worst mortgage officers I’ve ever run into,” he laughs. “However anyhow, they made that mortgage.”
Anderson says that when one of many presidents at Liberty heard concerning the mortgage, he mentioned, “Let me inform you one thing. You’re gonna be one of many final guys that may purchase a financial institution with simply sweat fairness.”
And so started the Anderson household’s possession of F&M Financial institution. It was a baptism of fireside: The late Seventies and early Nineteen Eighties introduced a recession, excessive inflation and better rates of interest; Anderson was paying 18% curiosity on the mortgage he used to purchase the financial institution. However F&M survived by arduous work and the connections Anderson had made.
Since then, the group financial institution’s development has been regular. It acquired a handful of distressed banks through the years and opened branches to increase its footprint. Anderson has been an lively member of the Oklahoma Bankers Affiliation and ICBA, and he additionally sat on the board of First Nationwide Financial institution & Belief Co., a Potawatomi tribal financial institution in Shawnee, Okla. His son, John Tom Anderson, is a present director.
“We have now glorious relations with the tribe, and [F&M Bank] does some loans with the Bureau of Indian Affairs,” Anderson says.
At this time, he and his household have their eyes on the longer term. “Proper now, we’re within the technique of drawing up guidelines for using members of the family,” he says. “We wish them to have an excellent schooling, and we would like them to work someplace else for 3 or 4 years to see what it’s wish to work for someone that’s very goal. We wish them to watch the identical requirements that everyone observes after they come to work for us.”
In 2019, Anderson was inducted into the Oklahoma Bankers Corridor of Fame. “I assumed that was one thing,” he says. “I’ve achieved that by mentors and friendships, and in these 75 years I’ve made a number of associates. I simply did one of the best I may at no matter job I had.”
John V. Anderson’s deep perception in schooling
Having gone straight from highschool to the Navy after which into the workforce, John V. Anderson by no means went to school.
His first employer in banking, Liberty Nationwide Financial institution in Oklahoma Metropolis, Okla., supplied banking programs without cost to its workers—so long as learners handed. “Effectively, I took benefit of all these programs that I may,” Anderson says.
Later, he went to the Graduate College of Banking in Madison, Wis., and likewise relied on mentors. “A few of them have been guys who had made it by in banking in the course of the huge Despair,” he says. “They have been actually seasoned bankers, and I appreciated what they did to assist me alongside.
“I’m an actual believer in getting all of the schooling that you could in a area that you simply assume you’re gonna take pleasure in.”
Molly Bennett is govt editor of Unbiased Banker.