Shareholder vote approves Bank of Floyd-Grayson merger

Alan Funk, CEO of Grayson National Bank and the newly-merged operation with the Bank of Floyd, outlines plans for the future with shareholders Thursday.
Alan Funk, CEO of Grayson National Bank and the newly-merged operation with the Bank of Floyd, outlines plans for the future with shareholders Thursday.

The Bank of Floyd becomes part of a newly-merged regional financial operation on July 1 after shareholders of Cardinal Bankshares — the bank’s holding company — approved joining Grayson National Bank of Independence with the overwhelming approval of 95 percent of the stockholders Thursday morning in Floyd.

About 1.2 million of the voting shares approved the merger with just a bit over 60,000 voting against it.  The approval follows earlier acceptance of the merger by Grayson shareholders by similar margins.

Unlike a raucous shareholders’ meeting more than a decade ago rejecting purchase of the bank by what was then First National Bank of Christiansburg (now Union) or a bitter reorganization of the Cardinal board in 2012 that ousted a long-time CEO, the merger approval came quickly and quietly in the community room of The Bank of Floyd.

Announcement of the result of votes, cast mostly by major shareholders and those with proxies, came less than 15 minutes into the meeting and remaining time of the session included introduction of Grayson executives and announcement of a timetable that includes start of the merged entity — still unnamed — with the beginning of the accounting third quarter of 2016 — July 1.

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Cardinal Bankshares board chairman James Shortt (right) introduced Alan Funk at the shareholders meeting Thursday.

For the time being, the new bank will operate as two divisions of a new merged national bank.

Rebranding and conversion of the two bank’s systems’ begins early next year.

Bank officials say no layoffs of employees are planned and any staff realignments or reductions will come through retirements or existing vacancies.

“We are a local bank,” said Alan Funk, CEO of Grayson and the new entity.  “We will continue to be your local bank.”

Funk the name for the new bank will seek to reflect both Floyd and Independence equally.

“We haven’t decided on a name yet and the new brand will be selected carefully,” he said.

Leon Moore, the former long-time CEO of Bank of Floyd, who retired after the bitter fight for reorganization in 2012, told shareholders that he started out opposed to the merger but now supports it because of assurances that existing employee will be protected.

Changes, Moore said, are necessary because of increasing government regulations and economic realities that threaten small banking operations.

I wrote an original short story on the merger approval Thursday for The Floyd Press web site and a more complete report will appear in next week’s paper.

A continuing story.  Stay tuned.

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