United Bankshares, Inc. (United), a $27 billion regional financial services company, virtually held its Annual Meeting of Shareholders on Wednesday, May 12, 2021.
During the meeting, United Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer Richard M. Adams addressed the shareholders by highlighting several key points from the 2020 Annual Report to Shareholders. He began by stating, "During the many challenges of 2020, we continued our strong performance for our shareholders, our team members, our customers, and our communities. 2020 was one of the most difficult and tragic years in the history of our country. COVID-19, the worst pandemic in nearly 100 years, brought death to nearly 350,000 people in the USA by year-end. People were asked to stay in their home unless their travel was deemed to be 'essential' in nature. Sickness, death, grief, financial ruin, and social unrest swept through our nation."
He continued, "In December of 2020, on behalf of all our United team members, we received the 'CEO of the Year COVID-19 Response Leader Award' from the Washington Business Journal for our achievements during the pandemic. It is remarkable that out of all the businesses, large and small in the nation's capital MSA, we were recognized as #1 for our efforts for our customers, our communities, and our team members. Our team worked weekends and well into the night to be one of the first banks in the country to be ready on Day 1 of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to assist businesses in need. We were 2 nd in the volume of loans approved to women-owned businesses, as well as businesses owned by people of color in Metro DC, outperforming much larger banking companies. Foreclosures and repossessions were put on hold. We deferred loan payments and waived fees for our customers. We helped to fill food pantries, recognized health care workers on the frontlines, made many charitable donations, and thousands of COVID-19 related volunteer hours were reported by our team members."
To quote the Washington Business Journal, December 11, 2020, "But perhaps equally important (to other achievements) were measures to help its own staff." United committed to paying its employees even if their hours or availability were impacted by COVID-19, increased paid time off, increased the minimum hourly wage, issued an extra bonus to employees who had to physically report to work, and increased the 401(k) match.
In the midst of one of the most severe health crises in 100 years, United successfully executed the largest merger in our company's history. Carolina Financial Corporation (CARO), headquartered in Charleston, SC, had assets of $5 billion.
Adams continued, "Our company is often referred to as an American dream success story. Few, if any regional banking companies in the nation have come further and more successfully than United Bankshares."
During the current administration, United has grown from a single-office, $100 million bank in Parkersburg, West Virginia, to over $27 billion in assets and 223 offices in West Virginia, Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and the nation's capital. As of December 31, 2020, United was ranked the 37 th largest banking company in the nation based upon market capitalization. United's financial performance in 2020 was among the best of the best. United achieved record net income of $289 million. United also achieved a record only one other major banking company in the nation has been able to achieve, increasing the dividend to shareholders for the 47 th consecutive year.
Adams then quantified, "If you had invested $100,000 at the start of this administration, including dividend reinvestment, it would have been worth approximately $12.1 million at December 31, 2020."
United's commitment to its communities was evidenced by the national recognition received from the American Bankers Association Foundation for being the top employee volunteer program in the nation. The award specifically recognized United's Community Reinvestment Action Committee which oversaw the creation of United's bank-wide volunteer infrastructure to connect employees to high-impact service opportunities, aligning our community efforts behind common goals to move the needle on key challenges facing the communities we serve. United also received an 'Outstanding' regulatory rating during its most recent Community Reinvestment Act examination.
Adams concluded his address by stating, "We look toward the future with great optimism. I can assure you that our United team will continue to work diligently to make a positive difference in the lives of our team members, our customers, our shareholders, and the people in the communities we serve."
During the meeting, it was announced that the following directors were elected by the shareholders to serve on the board of directors until the 2022 annual meeting: Richard M. Adams, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; Charles L. Capito, Jr., Former Managing Director, Wells Fargo Advisors Complex; Peter A. Converse, Former President and Chief Executive Officer, Virginia Commerce Bancorp, Inc.; Michael P. Fitzgerald, President, United Bank, and Former Co-Founder, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President, Bank of Georgetown; Theodore J. Georgelas, Managing Director, Georgelas Group Holdings, LLC; Patrice A. Harris, MD, MA, FAPA, Psychiatrist and Former President, American Medical Association; J. Paul McNamara, Chairman, Potomac Capital Advisors; Mark R. Nesselroad, Chief Executive Officer, Glenmark Holding, LLC; Jerold L. Rexroad, EVP, United Bankshares, Inc., Chairman of the Carolinas, United Bank, Chairman, Crescent Mortgage Company, and Former Chief Executive Officer, Carolina Financial Corporation; Albert H. Small, Jr., Founder and President, Renaissance Centro Inc., LLC; Mary K. Weddle, CPA, Former Executive Vice President, The Long and Foster Companies; Gary G. White, Principal Consultant, JRW, LLC, and Former Interim President, Marshall University; and P. Clinton Winter, President, Bray & Oakley Insurance Agency, Inc.
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