Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

America's 6th-Best CEO Will Give You an Investing Edge

By Brian Stoffel - Apr 4, 2013 at 1:12PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Lessons of prudence helped mold this CEO into a leader of one of the nation's biggest banks.

Once you get the hang of it, it's pretty easy to dissect balance sheets, income, and cash flow statements. This is the first step in getting your feet wet in the investment world.

But it doesn't stop there. If we were to base investing decisions solely on what we read in these statements, that would be akin to picking a significant other based solely on their Facebook profile -- to many, it just doesn't make sense to avoid real-life interaction.

Investigating these "soft" aspects of a company is important for investors. And although we can't capture all of the intangibles of a company in one article, Glassdoor.com -- a website that collects employee sentiment for companies across the world -- recently came out with a list that could help: the Top CEOs of 2013.

Over the past few days, I've covered CEOs 25 through 7. Today, I'm going to introduce you to the company with the 6th-highest-rated CEO, give you some background on the company, and at the end, I'll offer access to a special free report that serves up a stock Warren Buffett only wishes he could buy.

US Bank (USB -0.06%)
This won't be too much of a spoiler, but the list of America's top 25 CEOs includes three chiefs of some of America's largest banks. I've covered JPMorgan Chase's (JPM -0.82%) Jamie Dimon -- who has taken a precipitous fall from last year's 12th overall ranking to this year's 25th. That may be due in part to the London Whale incident that made Dimon's pleas for looser regulations seem hypocritical.

I also ran down PNC Financial's (PNC 0.80%) Jim Rohr, who has been with his company since 1972, and was previously named American Banker of the Year in 2007. Sadly for investors, however, Rohr's tenure will soon be coming to a close.

That leaves us with U.S. Bank's CEO, Richard K Davis, as the highest rated CEO of a major bank in America. Davis has been with the company since 1993 and has served as CEO since late 2006.

Lessons in prudence from the Great Depression
Taking over a company just before the Great Recession took hold could not have been an easy task, but Davis was probably the best man for the job. According to an interview he gave with Titan Magazine, Davis keenly remembers the lessons his parents taught him from their experience of the Great Depression, such as growing up in Hacienda Heights in a home where the furniture was covered with plastic. He recalls drying the dishes with threadbare tea towels while a couple of dozen new towels languished on the shelf. 

Those lessons came in handy. In the years leading up to the real-estate bubble bursting, "We were routinely criticized for not growing fast enough," Davis states. But that prudence paid off, as his bank was one of the first to repay the federal government's $6.6 billion in TARP funds -- accomplishing the feat all the way back in June of 2009. 

While investors are certainly happy that shares of US Bank's stock have returned 250% since bottoming out in March of 2009, employees are also happy with the job this levelheaded CEO has done -- with 95% approving of his performance. 

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

JPMorgan Chase & Co. Stock Quote
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
JPM
$117.34 (-0.82%) $0.97
Meta Platforms, Inc. Stock Quote
Meta Platforms, Inc.
FB
$193.54 (1.18%) $2.25
U.S. Bancorp Stock Quote
U.S. Bancorp
USB
$49.21 (-0.06%) $0.03
The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. Stock Quote
The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.
PNC
$155.98 (0.80%) $1.23

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning service.

Stock Advisor Returns
330%
 
S&P 500 Returns
115%

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 05/22/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.