CHARLESTON — United Bankshares Inc., a $29.4 billion regional financial services company, virtually held its Annual Meeting of Shareholders on May 11.
Richard M. Adams, United executive chairman of the board, addressed shareholders by highlighting several key points from the 2021 Annual Report to Shareholders.
“2021 was one of the most successful years in our company’s history. We achieved record earnings, were ranked fourth among the 50 largest banking companies in the nation in financial performance, increased earnings per share, outperformed peer profitability, increased the dividends to shareholders for the 48th consecutive year, closed the 33rd acquisition of the current administration and made a positive difference in the lives of those we serve,” Adams said.
“I well remember when our company was not even ranked in the top 500 banks in the country. At that time, we developed a vision statement to be in the top five in financial performance among the 50 largest U.S. banks,” Adams said. “To many, our ability to execute our vision statement was considered impossible. In March 2021, S&P Global Market Place Intelligence reported that S&P Global ranked United fourth among the 50 largest banking companies in the country in financial performance based upon our growth and profitability, as well as our safety and soundness metrics. When our CFO sent me the ranking, I have to say it was a moment I’ll never forget. A vision became a reality, as we are now the 43rd largest banking company and ranked in the top five in financial performance among the top 50. Time and time again, our people have achieved what others have not been able to achieve.”
Overall, United’s financial performance continued to be among the best of the best, achieving record before-tax earnings of $463 million and increasing earnings per share from $2.40 to $2.83 or 18% in 2021. United’s return on average assets of 1.35% compared very favorably to its Federal Reserve peer group of 1.20%.
“During the current administration, United has grown from a single-office, $100 million bank in Parkersburg, W.Va., to one of the best performing regional banking companies in the country, with assets of nearly $30 billion and 250 offices in eight states and the nation’s capital,” Adams said. “Through 33 acquisitions, we have built one of the most valuable, independent, regional banking companies in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast.”
Also in 2021, United increased dividends to $1.41 per share, which represented the 48th consecutive year of dividend increases to its shareholders. This is a record only one other major banking company in the United States has been able to achieve. To quote Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Equity Research Report of July 25, 2021, “UBSI’s earnings consistency, highly profitable franchise, strong expense control, historically good credit and high dividend should afford UBSI a premium valuation.”
“If you had invested $100,000 at the start of this administration, including dividend reinvestment, it would have been worth approximately $14 million at year-end 2021,” Adams said.
In December, United completed its acquisition of Community Bankers Trust Corp., parent company of Essex Bank. For United, Essex, with its headquarters in Richmond and assets of $1.8 billion, was a strategic opportunity to expand its presence into the heart of the Commonwealth of Virginia, filling in the gap between Northern Virginia and North Carolina.
“We are proud to be the largest community bank headquartered in the nation’s capital, as well as the largest state-chartered bank headquartered in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Our West Virginia franchise has also become much more valuable because of our No. 2 market share position in West Virginia,” Adams said. “United Bankshares is West Virginia’s largest publicly traded company with headquarters in the state.”
United’s financial strength provides the resources to strengthen the communities across its footprint, and 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, demonstrating United’s drive for economic inclusion and against discrimination.
United was recently recognized on Newsweek’s 2022 list of “America’s Most Trustworthy Companies.” Across the 22 industries evaluated, United ranked as the No. 2 “Most Trustworthy Company” among all publicly traded banking companies. The “Most Trustworthy Companies” were chosen based on a holistic approach to evaluating trust. The three key public touchpoints of trust considered were customer trust, investor trust and employee trust.
“Few management teams have been as successful as United’s in addressing future challenges over many years,” Adams said. “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.”
Board of Directors also were elected at the United Bankshares Inc. Annual Meeting of Shareholders. They will serve until the 2023 annual meeting.
Elected were: Richard M. Adams, executive chairman; Richard M. Adams Jr., chief executive officer, United Bankshares, Inc.; 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, former co-founder, chairman, chief executive officer and president, Bank of Georgetown; Patrice A. Harris, MD, MA, FAPA, psychiatrist and chief executive officer, eMed; Diana Lewis Jackson, president and founder, Action Facilities Management; J. Paul McNamara, chairman, Potomac Capital Advisors; Mark R. Nesselroad, chief executive officer, Glenmark Holding, LLC; Jerold L. Rexroad, EVP, United Bankshares, chairman of the Carolinas, United Bank, chairman of Crescent Mortgage Co. and former chief executive officer of Carolina Financial Corp.; Lacy I. Rice, III, co-founder and managing partner, Federal Capital Partners; 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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