The editors of American Banker will honor Richard D. Fairbank, founder, chairman and CEO of Capital One Financial Corp., (NYSE:COF) with the American Banker 2006 Banker of the Year Award at a gala dinner at New York’s Pierre Hotel on Thurs., November 30th.
For Capital One, 2006 has been a culminative year. In that period, the company confirmed its status as a rare surviving independent from the once-booming class of credit card monolines. In addition, by diversifying its balance sheet, it engineered its own entry into the banking industry’s top 20. Capital One’s accomplishment acknowledges not merely assets but also strategy, influence, and brand power.
“It’s hard to find a company that has made as much progress in truly diversifying itself in as little time,” said David Longobardi, editor-in-chief of American Banker. “The past few years have been a tough time for consumer finance companies and those pressures aren’t easing. In that context, Capital One’s achievement looms even larger.”
At a time when monoline consumer finance companies faced heightened regulatory scrutiny and confronted serious balance sheet difficulties, Rich Fairbank opted to transform his. The company tripled assets in just three years. As part of the process, Capital One acquired Hibernia and agreed to acquire North Fork. This addition of regional and portfolio diversity will provide greater stability, particularly given the considerable commercial businesses those deals bring.
Through it all, the company has solidified and extended its brand with the award-winning “What’s in Your Wallet” ad campaign.
During his 25 years in banking Fairbank has played a central role in a visionary organization whose innovations have transformed lending practices in the credit card industry and made credit more accessible to more people. Early in his career Fairbank developed the idea that would ultimately become Capital One’s hallmark—using information to integrate traditionally separate functions of marketing, credit, risk operations and technology—to offer financial services tailored to fit each customer’s individual needs.
Founded in 1836, American Banker is the award-winning daily newspaper for the financial services industry. Its annual Banker of the Year Awards honor the individuals who set the highest standards of progress, innovation, and performance in the banking and financial services industry. Fairbank will be among seven industry leaders saluted at this year’s gala. The other awards include Lifetime Achievement, Community Banker of the Year, and Innovator of the Year.
Previous Banker of the Year honorees include: Ken Thompson, chairman, president and CEO, Wachovia (NYSE:WB); Jamie Dimon, president and CEO, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM); Richard M. Kovacevich, chairman and CEO, Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE:WFC); Kenneth D. Lewis, chairman and CEO, Bank of America (NYSE:BAC); and Kerry Killinger, chairman, president and CEO, Washington Mutual (NYSE:WM).
For information on attending or sponsorship opportunities, please contact Kim Gantz Wexler at (212) 803-6065.
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For 170 years, American Banker, www.americanbanker.com, has been the banking and financial services industry premier daily source of information, news, and analysis. American Banker is a daily newspaper that provides news and analysis to the banking and financial services industry. It is distributed across the country to executives of large and small banks alike. With a readership of more than 77,000, the publication covers topics including national and global issues, mortgages, consumer finance, legislation, investment products, card, and payment systems and technology.
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