In the 1980s, several members of the Firm – either as private shareholders or by serving on the Board – became founding members of American Union Bank.
In 1988, the commercial bank charter application filed by American Union Bank was approved by the New Jersey Banking Commission. The bank opened its doors with total capitalization of $4 million.
American Union Bank was headquartered at 2720 Morris Avenue in Union, New Jersey. According to a July 5, 1988 press release, “‘American Union will be located in an area experiencing rapid growth and on-going development,’ said New Jersey Banking Commissioner Mary Parell in approving the application. ‘Union Township and the surrounding area have long been focal points for major commercial and industrial activities which are clearly reflected by the steady increase in population and employment.’ Commissioner Parell continued, ‘The new bank will provide an attractive and convenient alternative choice of banking services to area residents and employees. American Union’s desire to accommodate the community is especially evident in their plan to open the bank office from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.’”
On October 17, 1994, Valley National Bancorp and American Union Bank announced they signed a letter of intent for Valley National to acquire American Union. At the time, American Union Bank President and Chief Executive Officer Gerald Metzheiser stated, “We are confident that with the Valley National Bank acquisition, our customers will continue to receive the highest level of personal service and attention.” At the time of the merger, American Union had about $55 million in assets and operated two branch offices in Union and Roselle Park. The merger was completed in February 1995. All of the Sills Cummis members who owned American Union shares made a tidy profit.