Ronald Glancz remembered for banking acumen, mentoring next-gen lawyers

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Ronald Glancz, who built an outsize reputation as a banking lawyer at Venable, died Tuesday after a battle with cancer. He was 75.

Glancz joined Venable after stints at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., where he was assistant general counsel, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, where he led the agency's litigation division.

The veteran lawyer, who chaired Venable's financial services group, was recognized widely as an expert on bank and thrift regulation. He had been a go-to expert on topics ranging from regulatory discipline in the 1990s to the ongoing debate over fintech charters.

“Ron was preeminent in banking law,” said Stuart Inglis, Venable's chairman. “He was among the most decent of us. A trusted adviser to leading companies, a mentor to generations of fine lawyers, a pillar in the community and most of all a friend. We will miss him.”

Glancz, who grew up in Saginaw, Mich., joined the Justice Department in September 1968, shortly after graduating cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School, where he helped edit the Michigan Law Review. He spent two decades with government agencies before joining Venable in September 1991.

His most valuable service to Venable may have come from his work mentoring young lawyers, said Allyson Baker, a Venable partner who joined the firm in 2013 after serving in the Justice Department and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

“I benefited tremendously from him,” Baker said. “He opened up his Rolodex and said, 'Go through it and find some clients.’ He didn’t have to do that. He wanted to propel our careers.”

Glancz belonged to what industry veteran Bert Ely termed “the banking village.”

“It’s several hundred professionals who are active in banking issues and tend to see each other a lot,” said Ely, a banking consultant. “I had a very nice relationship with Ron. He was well connected, very knowledgeable and liked by many."

In addition to his legal work, Glancz was active in a number of Jewish charities. He was treasurer of RespectAbility, a Potomac, Md., group that advocates for people with disabilities, and was a past president of the Jewish Foundation for Group Homes. He also served on the board of Tzedek DC, an organization that provides legal assistance to low-income individuals struggling with debt.

At a ceremony last month, RespectAbility presented Glancz with a flag that had been flown over the Capitol. The ailing Glancz was unable to attend but sent a statement.

“My parents taught me to give back to the community and to those in need," he said in the statement. "I’ve been fortunate to be able to do so in my life. This has brought great joy to me [and] to my family."

Glancz’ funeral is scheduled for Thursday at Congregation Har Shalom in Potomac.

His passing “is sad for the whole community,” Baker said.

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