John V. Anderson celebrates 75 years in group banking this yr. The chairman emeritus of F&M Financial institution gives us a glimpse of his life, his profession and the teachings he’s discovered alongside the way in which.
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 Struggle 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 areas throughout the state and $650 million in property. His three sons and one daughter are all concerned within the 100% family-owned enterprise, as are three of his grandchildren.
“And I’ve acquired great-grandchildren now which can be starting to drive vehicles, in order that’s the following wave that wishes a job,” he laughs.
“In these 75 years, I’ve made loads of pals. I simply did the most effective I might at no matter job I had.”
—John V. Anderson, F&M Financial institution
Anderson’s household ties have at all times been robust. 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 automobile, so we needed to stroll out to the fields. That made such an impression on me. So, each job I’ve had, I might do the most effective job I might.”
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 numerous Pacific islands and dropping them off at San Diego or Pearl Harbor. “We had been part of a extremely joyful time, as a result of all people was coming dwelling,” 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 manner 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 toes from me … and I believed she was a reasonably handsome woman. I’d shoot a rubber band again there occasionally simply to get her consideration,” he laughs. The couple celebrated their 73rd marriage ceremony anniversary in September.
However again to 1972. That yr, Anderson was senior vp of operations at Liberty when considered one of his business connections, J.R. Gibson, who owned F&M Financial institution in Crescent, Okla., instructed Anderson he was seeking to promote resulting from well being issues.
“He stated, ‘If you’re , you’d be my first selection,’” Anderson says. “I stated, ‘J.R., let me let you know that I don’t have any cash, I’ve no internet value and I’ve no secondary supply of revenue. 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 immediately. “And I believed, for those who 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 in regards to the mortgage, he stated, “Let me let you know 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 fireplace: The late Seventies and early 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 onerous work and the connections Anderson had made.
Since then, the group financial institution’s progress has been regular. It acquired a handful of distressed banks through the years and opened branches to broaden 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’ve got glorious relations with the tribe, and [F&M Bank] does some loans with the Bureau of Indian Affairs,” Anderson says.
At present, he and his household have their eyes on the long run. “Proper now, we’re within the strategy of drawing up guidelines for using relations,” he says. “We wish them to have an excellent training, and we wish 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 look at the identical requirements that everyone observes once they come to work for us.”
In 2019, Anderson was inducted into the Oklahoma Bankers Corridor of Fame. “I believed that was one thing,” he says. “I’ve performed that by mentors and friendships, and in these 75 years I’ve made loads of pals. I simply did the most effective I might at no matter job I had.”
John V. Anderson’s deep perception in training
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 free of charge to its staff—so long as learners handed. “Effectively, I took benefit of all these programs that I might,” Anderson says.
Later, he went to the Graduate College of Banking in Madison, Wis., and likewise relied on mentors. “A few of them had been guys who had made it by in banking throughout the large Despair,” he says. “They had been actually seasoned bankers, and I appreciated what they did to assist me alongside.
“I’m an actual believer in getting all of the training that you may in a subject that you just suppose you’re gonna get pleasure from.”
Molly Bennett is govt editor of Unbiased Banker.