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Recognizing 100 CEOs & C-level Executives
Christopher Annas Meridian Bank

Christopher Annas

Chairman & CEO

Meridian Bank

Location: Malvern, PA

Founded: 2004

Industry: Banking

Framed in Chris Annas’ office is the famous Calvin Coolidge quote, “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence.” The founder of Meridian Bank often cites this mantra in conversation and is fond of highlighting persistence in sales meetings because the business banking sales cycle can take years.

Annas practices what he preaches. After a 16-year career in banking, he chose to start his own bank, convincing investors to believe in a vision, raising millions in capital, securing a bank charter from the Fed and completing a mountain of government paperwork. The task can take years and is usually accomplished by a group of bankers and investors. Annas has done this on his own — twice. Aft er founding his first bank in 1998, he went on to start Meridian Bank in 2004 and has served as Chairman and chief executive officer ever since.

Annas said his greatest professional risk was starting Meridian in 2004. “Economy was so-so, two kids heading to college, lots of money to raise,” he said. “Execution was good, and (I) got lucky.”

Annas’ leadership and vision for bringing innovation to community banking have fueled the steady growth of Meridian Bank since its inception. Meridian Bank has outperformed several area banks, expanding from three offices in Chester County to 20 locations across Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Florida. Under Annas’ guidance, Meridian Bank has amassed over 300 dedicated team members and generated more than $100 million in revenue in 2022.

“When we started the bank in 2004, our primary goal was to become profitable as quickly as possible,” Annas’ team said. “We achieved that in our fi ft h quarter, a Pennsylvania record, and set a course for strong profit growth from which we have never strayed. All this growth has been organic as we have so far carefully avoided acquisitions that didn’t fi t or were too expensive.”

Annas is an avid athlete and participates in various sports, including biking, tennis, golf, paddle tennis and racquetball. He is also involved in his community, supporting the Upper Main Line YMCA (UMLY) as a member for more than 30 years. Annas has facilitated subsidized gym memberships for Meridian Bank associates and contributed over $100,000 to UMLY, including a significant donation for the construction of a children’s playground. Annas and Meridian Bank have donated more than $2 million to local charities.

Annas has also served on various boards, including the Art Trust of Chester County, Devereux Foundation, East Whiteland Rails-to-Trails Commission, Chester County Chamber of Business and Industry, and the People’s Light and Theatre Company. Currently, he serves on the Paoli Hospital Foundation board, the Community Bank Council of the American Bankers Association and the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council (CDIAC).

Annas was named one of the Most Admired CEOs by Philadelphia Business Journal in 2016 and received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the banking industry in Philadelphia the same year.

Presented by:

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Did you know?

Chris became a grandfather on October 2, 2023 with the birth of his granddaughter, Genevieve Joy Tiagwad!

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