Chatting With The Bank of GTown's CEO

Staff writer Thomas Heath filed this account of his lunch with Mike Fitzgerald, the chief executive of the Bank of Georgetown:

I was eating lunch at The Palm in downtown Washington with Mike Fitzgerald, the chief executive of the new Bank of Georgetown, which he started with Curtin Winsor.

Fitzgerald is a former employee at Riggs Bank, which is now part of PNC. He's hoping B of G (my moniker for the new bank) will be a community-based commercial bank focused on local business, professionals, not-for-profit, real estate and consumers.

Mike is 50, lives in Bethesda, and graduated from Georgetown Preparatory School (1975), received a BA degree (Economics) from Fairfield University in 1979, and completed an MBA from Loyola College (Baltimore) in 1981.

The Fitzgeralds are no strangers to business. Mike's grandfather on the Fitzgerald side ran Hubert's baker at 20th and S streets. His great grandfather was a DC policeman. His grandfather on his mother's side? You guessed it: a bank regulator.

Fitzgerald said the bank's mission is to become all all-purpose personal bank for the customers it meets through its business banking relationships.

The B of G has three branches: one in Georgetown, of course, where it has a headquarters on 31st Street. One branch is at Friendship Heights, and one in Arlington. Another is set to open soon above the Farragut North Metro Station at the corner of Connecticut and L, which is my subway stop to and from lovely and leafy Chevy Chase, Md.

The B of G has approximately $140 million in assets and employees 30 people.

Fitzgerald said he plans to open two to four branches over the next couple of years. He sent me an e-mail with the following "key" new employees, all of whom are no doubt happy in their work and extremely well paid. Right Mike? They are: Jeffrey A. Banks - Managing Director, Business Development - formerly with Industrial Bank; Vincent C. Burke III - Managing Director, Business Development and Counsel - formerly with Furey, Doolan & Abell, LLP; Brett W. Kaplowitz - SVP of Commercial Banking - formerly with Mercantile Bank; Gerard M. McLoughlin - VP of Commercial Banking - formerly with Mercantile Bank; LaKendra McNair - VP and Branch Manager, Friendship Heights Branch - formerly with Chevy Chase Bank.

Here is some more information about B of G: Fitzgerald and Winsor have 275 local individuals who have anted up a total of $30 million in capital through two, what we call, "rounds" of funding. Each round raised $15 million, which B of G has used to get started. That makes the average around $100,000 per investor.

Mike said his bank plans to offer the same amenities as the big banks.

"We execute better than the other guys," said Mike. We will keep an eye on that promise, Mike.

By Dan Beyers  |  July 3, 2007; 5:42 PM ET  | Category:  Bank of Georgetown
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