Bank of Georgetown raises $18.1M

The Bank of Georgetown said Wednesday it had raised $18.1 million in a private stock offering, topping its target of $15 million.

The money will go toward funding the bank’s growth as it prepares to move to a new headquarters in January and continues to beef up its government contracting business, according to chief executive Mike Fitzgerald.

“We are looking down the road a few years,” said Fitzgerald, who co-founded the institution in 2005.

Shares of the bank sold for $19.50 a piece, roughly 124 percent of book value, during its fifth private offering. The last stock sale, in 2011, brought in more than $25 million for the bank.

“We were able to get this offering done very quickly in comparison to others,” said Fitzgerald, adding that this round took about eight weeks. The other offerings, he said, lasted at least twice as long.

The District-based bank, which has $890.52 million in assets, has been looking for new ways to expand in recent months. The day before the 16-day government shutdown went into effect Oct. 1, the bank announced that it was ramping up its government contracting lending unit. Jeff Satterly, an executive at Virginia Commerce Bank, was hired to lead the team.

“Through the sequestration and the shutdown, government contracting was getting a bad rap,” Fitzgerald said. “Banks were getting very nervous about that industry, which created an opportunity for us.”

Fitzgerald said he plans to continue adding to the team in hopes that government contractors will continue to look for loans.

“We’re in an interesting position,” Fitzgerald said. “We’re highly liquid and we’re interested in lending money. It’s how we make our living.”

The bank — which currently has 10 branches — is moving in January to a new headquarters at 30th and M streets NW, a few blocks away from its current perch in Georgetown.

Bank of Georgetown will continue to operate the branch at its current headquarters on Wisconsin Ave. NW, and Fitzgerald said he has plans to open at least one more branch next year.

“We’re constantly looking to expand,” he said. “Geographically, we will continue our push into Northern Virginia and Maryland.”

Abha Bhattarai covers local banking, retail and hospitality for The Washington Post’s Capital Business section.
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