Spotlight On: Rory Ritrievi, President & CEO, Mid Penn Bank

Spotlight On: Rory Ritrievi, President & CEO, Mid Penn Bank

2022-07-11T09:17:27-04:00March 1st, 2022|Banking & Finance, Philadelphia, Spotlight On|

Rory Ritrievi Mid Penn Bank2 min read March 2022Mid Penn Bank had an outstanding 2021. Throughout the year, the company grew its asset base by 43%. Rory Ritrievi, president and CEO, told Invest: that the bank was able to grow organically and through the acquisition of another institution. Although Mid Penn has completed four acquisitions in the last seven years, “we are bankers first, not a company that only buys banks, and our shareholders want to see that organic growth,” Ritrievi said.

How was Mid Penn Bank able to grow in 2021 despite the challenges?

Last year was unique. It was the most transformative year that the company ever had, and we’ve been around for 152 years. By the end of 2021, we had grown our assets by 43% over where we were at the beginning of the year. As with most companies, growth comes one of two ways: organic or acquisitive. In 2021, we had both. Approximately 10% to 12% of our growth in 2021 was organic growth, which is a pretty healthy level for the industry. The rest was through our acquisition of Riverview Financial. We announced the deal on June 30, 2021, and we were able to close it by Nov. 30, which was very expedient. That moved quickly because our shareholders were enthusiastically in support of the acquisition and the regulators blessed it in a timely fashion. It worked out well. From a growth standpoint, 2021 was incredible. 

What is the secret to the success that you’ve had in your market?

It always comes down to the strength of our team. Our mission statement is to reward our shareholders, serve our customers, cherish our employees, and support our communities. The cornerstone of our success in delivering upon that mission is our team. We do a lot of things to position our employees to be better at what they do to support the community in a better way and to support our customers in a better way. I believe that has given us a real strategic advantage.

What is your overview of the banking sector now in the Greater Philadelphia region?

The Greater Philadelphia Metropolitan area continues to be a strong market. The area has always been blessed with strong financial institutions both large and small and that continues to be the case now. There has been consolidation and there likely will continue to be, but there are still plenty of great options for consumers, businesses, and municipalities. 

How would you assess the talent pool now in your market?

I think the talent pool throughout our footprint is incredibly deep. High school and college grads are smarter than ever. People who have had experience with either some other financial institution or some other company and who are looking to make a move to a more progressive and dynamic entity are better prepared to do so now than ever. So the talent pool is deep in every aspect. 

Still, it’s tough to recruit people in today’s environment. The wage inflation that we’ve all experienced over the past two years is a good thing. It’s a good thing that companies are trying to find a way to pay people at least $15 if not more an hour; but you also need to show employees a path, not just what you’re going to pay them. They need to see a path of development, education and reward. That is what will give you access to the best talent. 

Why is it so important for the people you serve to see your organization active in the community?

A community bank is an organization that is deeply ingrained within a community and our community happens to be Pennsylvania. I think the strength of the American economy, the thing that has made us the world’s best economy in history, has been the community bank industry. The reason is that the stronger the community is, the better the business atmosphere is, the better the consumer atmosphere is and the better the banking atmosphere is. It’s a circle that feeds itself.

What are some of the challenges of banking in the region now?

The competition for employees is more difficult than ever. That’s not just for banks. That’s for fintechs and credit unions as well. If all you have to offer is a salary, good luck. You have to offer competitive salaries but you better be able to deliver something other than just that. The generations under 40 are different from previous generations. When I got out of college in the mid-‘80s, I felt fortunate to even find a job. Now, it’s different. Today, we’re heavily dependent upon our employees to do more than what our competitors do, so the key for us is to attract the right people to the company and then find a way to develop and nurture them. That’s going to be our greatest challenge. In an environment like we are in now, that challenge becomes even more difficult.

What are your top priorities for Mid Penn this year?

The top priority in 2022 is to get our Riverview deal integrated. Then we must effectuate the cost savings that we projected in the model because this particular deal was a little bit more about cost savings. We have a lot of work to do to get that done properly.

Overall, what our investors want to see is organic growth. If all you do is just go buy companies, then you’re not a bank, you’re just a company that buys banks. But we’re bankers. We love making loans. We love gathering deposits. We love providing wealth management advice. 

This year is going to be about execution on the back end of that Riverview transaction, but also taking advantage of a company that now has more muscle and more communities where we can show our support and grow our business.

For more information, visit: