An interview transcribed last week for yesterday’s edition of the Philadelphia Business Journal.
Name: Joseph P. Campbell
Title: President and CEO
Company: Royal Bancshares of Pennsylvania Inc.
Education: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Institute, associoate’s degree, 1966; University of Florida BA and BS in corporate finance, law and secondary education, 1970
Career History: Royal Bancshares general manager of real estate division in Chester County (1970-1981); Royal Bancshares board of directors (1982-1991); Royal Bancshares managing director (1991-1999)
1. The bank has been owned largely by the Tabas family since 1980, when the name changed from Bank of King of Prussia to Royal Bank. How has that affected its development?
It was the smaller of two banks owned by two brothers… we were looking for a vehicle to get into the banking industry and wanted something that, as I like to say, already had the cash register ringing. We walked in the door and applied our management style to it. It was positive from day one… We gave it a larger regional scope, in moving branches from King of Prussia to Philadelphia. We wanted to make it a larger bank… we took our business model, our biggest asset that we knew what the other side thinks. We are not bankers by training, we came into it another way. We’ve stayed with what we knew, real estate, and grew in new ways.
2. You started as a bus boy at Tabas family hotel in Downingtown 40 years ago and became president and CEO. How has that experience affected your view of business today?
Dan Tabas was really my mentor, and there’s no greater ladder to success than having a great mentor… We’ve always looked at our business on a family basis. Every shareholder meeting I go to, I say… your employees are your greatest asset. Everything in life is a people business. Success or failure can be tied to how you treat people in business. The teller downstairs has a more important job than I do. I can be out of the office on a Wednesday… and no one would know. If that teller was out, she’d be missed.
3. Why did the company decide to add Royal Asian Bank in 2004? What has it brought to the company?