- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 11, 2000

Capital One Financial executives yesterday announced the company would hire 8,000 additional workers in Virginia over the next four years.

The Falls Church, Va., company, the eighth-largest credit-card issuer, said the move reflects its rapid growth. Capital One has 27 million customers and is adding 25,000 more each day, said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Richard Fairbank.

He and Virginia Gov. James S. Gilmore III announced the company's plans yesterday at a press conference, saying the jobs would bring a $700 million investment to Virginia, in addition to Capital One's current $1.3 million contribution to the state's economy.

The company will expand existing facilities and build new offices in Goochland, Henrico and Chesterfield counties, near Richmond. As announced in May, it will also move its headquarters to a new campus in Tysons Corner and will hire new employees, bringing the total jobs in Northern Virginia to 1,700.

Mr. Fairbank said the company's ambitious hiring goal will not overextend its resources.

"If you look at our track record, I think every announcement we've made, we've ended up exceeding it," Mr. Fairbank said.

He added that because Capital One is adding 25,000 new customers a day, it is the fastest-growing credit-card issuer.

But he also said the company has branched out from its core credit-card business, making auto loans and accepting customer deposits.

"This is really not about credit cards, it's about the way the world of marketing is being transformed" by customized products, he said.

The governor joined Mr. Fairbank to make the announcement, and said in a press release he welcomes the new jobs.

"Today's good news is not just the number of jobs, but the high caliber of these new jobs in technology, the Internet, marketing and customer-relationship management," Mr. Gilmore said.

Credit-card analysts were not surprised by Capital One's plans, saying they are in line with the company's growth.

"The company's been growing by leaps and bounds over the past few years. Especially in the card industry, you need human personnel to support that growth," said Vincent Daniel, an analyst with CIBC World Markets.

Kenneth Posner, a specialty finance analyst with Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, said Capital One probably made the announcement in part to foster good relations with the state.

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