An icon in Guam’s banking industry has passed away. Anthony A. “Tony” Leon Guerrero chairman president and chief executive officer of the Bank of Guam died on Oct. 10 2005.

Leon Guerrero was born on June 19 1952.

He graduated from University High School in Los Angeles in 1970. Leon Guerrero attended the London School of Economics and studied political science at the University of London majoring in monetary economics. He earned a bachelor’s in economics in 1976. Nine years later he earned his master’s in business management at the Stanford University Sloan Program Palo Alto Calif. in 1985.

Leon Guerrero began his career at the Bank of America in San Francisco. He then worked at the Bank of Guam in 1974 in Hagåtña as a commercial loan officer. Leon Guerrero held a variety of senior and junior management positions to include president chief executive officer executive vice president and chief operating officer. In 1992 he was named vice chairman of the board president and chief executive officer. He was appointed chairman of the board in 2002 after the passing of his father Jesus S. Leon Guerrero.

Leon Guerrero served as chairman of the Guam Economic Development Authority now the Guam Economic Development and Commerce Authority and was a regent on the University of Guam’s board of regents.

Leon Guerrero also served on numerous boards including the Guam Humanities Council as its treasurer Pacific Islanders in Communications the Guam Chapter of the American Cancer Society Guam Chamber of Commerce Guam Bankers Association Micronesia Regional Tourism Council Guam Political Status Commission Pacific Islands Development Bank Young President’s Organization Catholic Education Board of Trustees Goodwill Industries Inc. the Financial Services and Information Technology Committee in Saipan Hagatna Restoration and Redevelopment Corporation and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.

Leon Guerrero is survived by his mother Eugenia A. Leon Guerrero; Mari Flor Herrero his wife; and three children Maria Eugenia Alexandra and Jesus. He is also survived by his brother Jesse A. Leon Guerrero and his wife Deirdre; and his sister Sen. Lourdes A. Leon Guerrero and her husband Jeffery A. Cook and their families.

On the day of his passing the bank issued this statement “With profound sadness and much love and sympathy for his family the board of directors management and staff of the Bank of Guam family announce the passing of its beloved chairman of the board president and chief executive officer Anthony A. “Tony” Leon Guerrero. Tony Leon Guerrero died in his San Francisco home where he lived for months during his medical treatment for cancer.”

Guam Business magazine wrote in its February 2003 edition “Leon Guerrero has taken the bank to a global level that can compete with businesses in the U.S. The Bank of Guam was the first bank to offer ATM services in Guam — now available also in the Northern Mariana Islands the Marshall Islands Palau and San Francisco — and the first local bank to introduce a Web site. In 2000 online banking was added and check imaging in 2001. Leon Guerrero initiated the bank’s financial services division and insurance subsidiary — both firsts in Guam’s banking community.”

Leon Guerrero was regarded as a leader in the region’s banking industry who understood the speed with which the industry could and should adapt. He was quoted in the April 1992 edition of Guam Business as saying “Banking is an industry that if anything is constant it is change.”

Larry K. Butterfield president and chief executive officer of Citizens Security Bank and president of the Guam Banker’s Association said “Tony was a strong supporter of the Guam Banker’s Association … we share in the mourning of his passing.” He added “On a personal note Tony and I lived in the same building. He was a strong competitor during the day and when the doors closed he was a good friend … as it should be.” MBJ