John Asbury, Atlantic Union Bankshares

John Asbury

Virginia’s Bank

Editors’ Note

John Asbury describes himself as an accidental banker as a result of a college summer job that he stumbled upon at United Virginia Bank (later Crestar, now SunTrust) in his hometown. Upon graduation, he was hired into the commercial training program at Wachovia Bank & Trust in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He initially served as a commercial credit officer, then a commercial relationship manager, and from there moved through increasing levels of management in a wide variety of roles and locations across the country. Asbury’s 30-year career has come full circle and allowed him to take part in recreating something that has not existed in nearly 20 years – a Virginia-based regional bank, much like the place where he began his career. Asbury contributes to his community and industry through various nonprofit board memberships such as the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, Chamber RVA, Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges, Virginia Bankers Association, and various industry organizations. He was educated in Virginia, earning a BS in business at Virginia Tech and an MBA at The College of William & Mary.

Company Brief

Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, Atlantic Union Bankshares Corporation (atlanticunionbank.com) is the holding company for Atlantic Union Bank. Atlantic Union Bank has 130 branches and approximately 150 ATMs located throughout Virginia, and in portions of Maryland and North Carolina. Certain non-bank financial services affiliates of Atlantic Union Bank include: Atlantic Union Equipment Finance, Inc., which provides equipment financing; Dixon, Hubard, Feinour & Brown, Inc., which provides investment advisory services; Atlantic Union Financial Consultants, LLC, which provides brokerage services; and Union Insurance Group, LLC, which offers various lines of insurance products.

Will you highlight Atlantic Union Bank’s business?

Atlantic Union Bank is Virginia’s only statewide independent bank – we are “Virginia’s bank.” Beginning with humble roots as a small rural bank in 1902, today we have grown to be $20 billion in assets and an award-winning, full-service bank. We also maintain operations in Maryland and North Carolina, and our specialty equipment finance division is based in Atlanta.

What have been the keys to the strength and leadership of Atlantic Union Bank?

At Atlantic Union Bank, our culture and core values – Caring, Courageous and Committed – coupled with a clear strategic vision, have been critical to our overall strength and success. Many of our leaders have come from larger institutions and tell us they were attracted to the company because of our culture, ongoing growth, relentless commitment to our customers and communities, and the opportunity to make a personal difference in the organization. They recognize we are large enough and capable enough to provide an attractive alternative to other national and regional banks, while still maintaining responsiveness, a personal approach and accountability. Some have described us as a regional bank with the heart of a community bank, and I think that is true.

“As banking professionals, we are in an especially unique position to educate our communities on financial literacy and provide sound advice.”

How important is it for Atlantic Union Bank to build a diverse and inclusive workforce?

Building a diverse and inclusive workforce is an essential component of who we are. We want our company to reflect the communities we serve, and we make a real effort to hire teammates with diverse and unique perspectives. Our goal is to create one team that values everyone’s ideas and contributions. By embracing our differences and treating everyone with respect, we are better able to enrich the lives of the people and communities we serve.

Diversity, equity and inclusion are woven into every aspect of how we run our business, from our community involvement and charitable giving to our teammate hiring and retention strategies and daily interactions. Our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council, which I created and chair, ensures we deliver on our promise. I am proud to say that this council is a diverse group of teammates with employees from all levels of the organization. They ensure all voices are heard.

What do you see as Atlantic Union Bank’s responsibility to the communities it serves?

A bank is only as strong as the communities it serves. As stewards of our depositors’ funds and operating with the privilege of FDIC insurance, it is our duty to ensure communities and customers can realize their economic potential. We achieve this by being good stewards of their funds and knowledgeable and caring advisors who also provide fair credit access where needed. As banking professionals, we are in an especially unique position to educate our communities on financial literacy and provide sound advice. Lastly, as I often mention, when you live in the communities you serve, and we most certainly do, you must answer to your communities and be accountable.

What advice do you offer to young people interested in a career in banking?

Banking is a great career path that I highly recommend. A banking career provides the opportunity to “do well while doing good” and make a positive impact on the lives of your customers and the communities you serve. While most of us think of our branch networks and commercial bankers as “the bank,” we are also a business with extensive supporting operations. The banking industry welcomes diverse talent. It has a wide range of careers not just in customer facing roles, but also in numerous other disciplines such as technology, cybersecurity, digital, operations, finance, accounting, HR, marketing and more. It is not uncommon to see people move among various functions throughout their careers as I have done. The sky is the limit.