Sunday, June 23, 2024

NC banking: Rick Callicutt

CEO, BNC Bancorp

Age: 57

Education: Bachelor’s degree from High Point University

Career: Callicutt has worked for BNC since it was started in Thomasville in 1991, serving as chief operating officer until becoming CEO in June 2013.

2015 Compensation: $1.2 million


Davidson County native Rick Callicutt and then-CEO Swope Montgomery started BNC Bancorp in 1991 with 14 employees and $4.2 million in assets. BNC has scooped up more than a dozen banks since 2010 and now has assets of $5.7 billion with 62 branches in the Carolinas and Virginia. Pending acquisitions of High Point Bank and South Coast Financial, based in Mount Pleasant, S.C., have been delayed after advocacy groups challenged the bank’s minority-lending practices under the Community Reinvestment Act. If the deals are completed, BNC will have about $6.8 billion in assets.

Are you emphasizing fee-income businesses given the slimness of net interest margins? 

We have been very focused with gaining more diversity in our earnings. Our mortgage and wealth business divisions have successfully grown, but we feel we have a lot of runway left in each for further expansion. We are ramping up further our SBA lending business with additional sales and support staff. We’re very excited about the opportunity that the High Point Bank transaction brings to our company with the addition of an insurance and trust division. … Those divisions also offer M&A opportunities that will help us gain scale more quickly.

It seems like your merger integrations have been effective. Why have they been successful?

The key to such integrations is being willing to learn from the most recent one and have a commitment to improve with the next. We have a dedicated team that focuses each day on the details, whether it be technology, education or the systems conversion. We perform detailed reviews on each transaction in preparation for the next opportunity.

Why are CRA issues holding up your latest deals?

Protests have become commonplace, it seems, in today’s M&A environment. While we are certainly not happy that we have been delayed as we wind our way through the regulatory processes, we are coming out on the other side more educated and attentive to areas that are certainly important to the real success of our company. It’s an opportunity to get better, improve communication and confirm priorities as we move forward to closing each of the transactions in the near future.


Click to see the list of the Financial 100, our story on Richard Moore at First Bank, Neil Underwood at Live Oak, Kelly King, and interviews with Scott Custer and Marc Schaefer.

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