The founder and former CEO of a prominent Reston bank is building a new one. Meet Trustar Bank.

Shaza Andersen, who grew WashingtonFirst Bank to $2.1 billion in assets across about 12 years before selling to Sandy Spring Bank for $447 million in early 2018, hopes to achieve the same growth or better as CEO and founder of her new bank. She needs regulatory approval from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and expects to open in the second quarter at a Fairfax County location still to be determined, she said in an interview.

This effort comes as the region is beginning to see other new banks begin to form, including District-based Moxy Bank (which recently received FDIC approval) and Tysons-based VisionBank. But Andersen said her track record and those of other Trustar organizers in setting up, building and running WashingtonFirst to a profitable conclusion gives them a reputation that makes the bank different.

“I think what sets us apart is our experience and having done it before. I think customers, investors and employees are so eager to be part of our bank and helping us build it because we have done it before and we have done it successfully,” Andersen said.

Trustar is a combination of “trusted bank” and “star employees,” she said about the bank’s name.

The bank’s board members and executives include:

  • Michael Rebibo, former president of WashingtonFirst Bank’s mortgage operation and founder and CEO of 1st Portfolio Wealth Advisors and co-founder of Access National Bank.
  • Matthew Johnson, former executive vice president and CFO at WashingtonFirst Bank, as well as the former CFO at Capital Bank.
  • Madhu Mohan, former WashingtonFirst director, as well as former chairman of First Liberty Bancorp and founder of software company First Opinions.

Trustar is working to raise between $35 million and $50 million — slightly more than the two other new banks — to capitalize the bank by March 15. Andersen said that will help ensure the company has adequate funding at a good valuation through any possible future recession, noting she does not expect to have to return to investors anytime soon.

Ultimately, Andersen would like the bank to be in Reston, but she said it will end up wherever the founders can get the best deal. Meanwhile, the bank will target businesses between $1 million and $50 million in revenue across real estate and government contracting, among other industries.

“The main thing that I would say that we are excited about delivering is a quick turnaround,” she said. “When you have been there and done that, you know how to do it efficiently and how to do it quick.”

After Trustar opens its first location, it plans to open one branch a year in the region. The locations won’t be as big as the older, legacy-style branches as digital banking becomes more prominent, Andersen said, adding that a 1,500-square-foot branch is more likely than a 5,000-square-foot branch.