RALEIGH, N.C., Feb. 13, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Mike Atkinson, senior director of community development at First Citizens, has been named steering committee chair for the North Carolina Bankers Association (NCBA) Future Bank Leaders program.
The new initiative seeks to create a diverse, job-ready talent pipeline for the banking industry by tapping interested students attending historically Black colleges and universities and smaller, independent schools. It will educate and mentor them and result in credit risk certification from the Risk Management Association.
Atkinson, a 25-year employee of First Citizens, has led the bank’s community development initiatives for more than 15 years. In addition to this newest role, he also serves on the NCBA board of directors.
“We’re thrilled to have Mike lead, build and grow the NCBA’s Future Bank Leaders program as steering committee chair and help us usher in the next wave of diverse bankers,” said Peter Gwaltney, NCBA president and chief executive officer. “In addition to his experience in the banking industry, Mike brings a passion for investing in people and helping them be successful in their careers and in life.”
The Future Bank Leaders program includes a semester-long credit analysis class for business school students, on-campus events with bankers, merit-based scholarships for participating students, and coordination of internships and recruiting with NCBA member banks.
Shaw University and St. Augustine’s University, both in Raleigh, are participating in the pilot of the program with 16 students enrolled in the credit analysis class.
In his role, Atkinson will shape the future direction of the program and develop a plan to raise funds from NCBA member banks to support scholarships for the students and other program expenses.
“The Future Bank Leaders program will allow us to nurture a new generation of diverse bankers,” he said. “Having good, strong credit skills is imperative for graduates who want to enter the banking field and this program provides these skills. It also accelerates the recruiting of diverse talent to have immediate impact and a vertical growth trajectory on their banking careers, as opposed to starting in entry-level positions.”
About First Citizens Bank
First Citizens Bank helps personal, business, commercial and wealth clients build financial strength that lasts. Founded in 1898 and headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., First Citizens is the largest family-controlled bank in the United States, providing a unique legacy of strength, stability and long-term thinking that has spanned generations. We offer an array of general banking services including a network of 500-plus branches in 22 states; commercial banking expertise delivering best-in-class lending, leasing and other financial services coast to coast; and a nationwide direct bank. Parent company First Citizens BancShares, Inc. (NASDAQ: FCNCA) is a top 20 U.S. financial institution with more than $100 billion in assets. Discover more at firstcitizens.com.