By James Niedzinski
---- — ROCKPORT — When growing up in Connecticut, Peter Anderson did not always plan on being the head of a small, but powerful, financial institution that, under his leadership, has become a significant part of Cape Ann’s economy.
He graduated with a major in zoology from Ohio Wesleyan University, and after that he worked for a number of banks in his home state before coming to Rockport.
“It was a job,” he said. “There was an opening, and I applied. Here I am,” he said.
Now, the longtime chief executive officer and president of Rockport National Bank will be ending his 21-year tenure at the end of this month.
When Anderson joined the bank in 1992, the company had assets around $43 million; more than two decades later, the company boasts $200 million in assets and is consistently one of the top performers among similar companies.
“We’ve maintained good, steady growth over the last decade,” he said, citing the opening of the Gloucester branch of the bank in 1997 as a giant step forward.
Rockport National later moved to a new Gloucester location on Parker Street in 2007 and, more recently, added a branch in Beverly in 2011, on top of two locations in its base community of Rockport.
“We grew as the area economy grew,” said Anderson, who was feted at a Gloucester retirement party Wednesday night. “We competed pretty well for the business in the area.
When asked why he is retiring, his first response was a number.
“Sixty-eight,” he said with a smile, referring to his age.
“There comes a point when its time to step aside and let other people do the job,” Anderson said.
Anderson said he has no specific plans for his retirement. He has four children and seven grandchildren, many of whom still live in Rockport and Gloucester. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for Maritime Gloucester and commended its expanding educational programs.
His successor will be current Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Margaret Murphy, who joined the bank in 1993, one year after Anderson.
She was promoted to her current position in 1999 and has been in senior banking positions since 1986; she is also a certified financial planner.
“I am so pleased that the Board of Directors ultimately made the decision to choose Murphy as president,” Anderson said. “I have worked with Peggy for 20 years, and I have the utmost confidence in her ability to succeed in this new role.”
James Niedzinski can be reached at 978-283-7000, x 3455 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.