Quiet switcheroo: VNB chief Giles leaves presidency.... in November


Virginia National Bank Chairman Mark Giles drops his CEO title to focus on the bigger banking picture.


Virginia National Bank's founding CEO and chairman of the board Mark Giles is not being pushed out. "Heck no," he exclaims about his new role at the bank he's helmed since 1998. "This was my idea."

Giles, 52, is dropping the CEO title, which goes to Glenn Rust, who quietly assumed Giles' title of president in November.

The idea, says Giles, is for him to spend more time on marketplace opportunities and strategic issues, including acquisitions.

"I am a significant shareholder, and with this move I'm making an additional investment," says Giles. Once that's done, he'll hold an eight percent piece of the VNB pie.

One thing that worried him about the switch was that people would think he's going somewhere. "You want to have new blood," says Giles. "I would never want to be the guy who says we should've made this move a year ago."

Virginia National Bank was started by area businessmen Hunter Craig, Wick McNeely, and Reid Nagle in 1998 with $18 million raised from the community. Today VNB is a commercial bank with $299 million in deposits and branches in Buckingham, Orange, and Winchester. Its trust and asset management subsidiary handles $300 million.

The founders found Giles, a UVA grad, in Houston, where he was running the then $1.5 billion Sterling Bank, which has since grown to $4 billion in deposits.

In Houston, Giles worked with Rust, who was chief operations officer and executive VP until he resigned in January 2006.

"We're in a good position, with the possibility of being an acquirer," says Giles, reached on vacation with his family. "I view this as a great time to do this... and I'm not leaving."