First Citrus Bancorporation has added a financial industry veteran to its board of directors.
Robert Beard, managing member and CEO of Aegis Business Credit in Tampa, is filling a seat that was vacant on the First Citrus Bancorporation (OCT: FCIT) and First Citrus Bank board.
Beard brings expertise in accounting and auditing to the boardroom, said Jack Barrett, the bank's president and CEO.
Barrett also would like to see the all-white, all-male board become more diverse, saying it would strengthen operations at First Citrus, with $334 million in assets and five offices in Hillsborough County.
Beard founded Aegis Business Credit and the Aileron companies to diversify financial product offerings, the company's website says. Since 1998, these companies have financed more than $1.5 billion through factoring, asset-based lending and mortgage lending.
He brings 30 years of experience and a wealth of knowledge, said Michael Adcock, chairman of the First Citrus board in a news release.
"Bob's Big Eight accounting experience, auditing financial institutions, adds another level of expertise in our boardroom," Barrett said. "His entrepreneurial bent toward asset-based lending and other financial lines of business inherently brings synergies to our company as well."
Although the bank has no women on its board, about half the members of its executive staff or branch managers are women.
Women in management roles, particularly CEOs, are seen as prime board candidates, and the relatively small number of female CEOs is one reason banks have been slow to add women to their boards, Bank Director magazine found in its 2017 compensation survey. One-third of the bank leaders surveyed said no women serve on their boards, and another third said there is just one woman director on the board. Thirteen percent have three or more female directors.
"We sorely need and want multiple women and more diversity on our board. Not for window dressing purposes but because it will make us stronger!" Barrett said in an email to the Tampa Bay Business Journal. "Our board agrees that the quality of our debates and dialogue would be more meaningful if we had the insightful perspectives that can only come from diversity."
The board specifically highlights diversity, in addition to specialty knowledge areas, in recruiting new members, and Barrett said he's looking for potential candidates with local roots and leadership experience on a scale relevant to meet the bank's current and future needs.
See original article in Tampa Bay Business Journal