AP NEWS

Hancock Whitney says hello to Beaumont

May 10, 2019

Hancock Whitney made its move into Southeast Texas by emblazoning the company name on one of the most visible buildings in downtown Beaumont, but their plans for the region go well beyond Edison Plaza.

Before the Mississippi-based banking group fully took over business from its acquisition of Capital One Wealth and Asset Management, the stretch of territory between its few branches in Houston and its base in southwestern Louisiana was an untapped market.

With its impending acquisition of MidSouth Bancorp of Lafayette, Hancock Whitney will have a big step toward a larger footprint with three branches in Beaumont, along with their regional wealth management team.

“We’ve been looking at the Beaumont community for a long time, and with the acquisition of Capital One, it really helped us get our foot in the door,” said Stephen David, senior vice president and regional retail manager with Hancock Whitney.

David said the recent acquisitions propelled the company into several new Texas territories. Along with Beaumont, the banking group was able to expand in Houston, branch out to Dallas and also has plans to expand into Conroe and College Station.

Hancock Whitney celebrated the opening of its first Beaumont financial center Thursday on the ground floor of Edison Plaza, which will serve consumer and commercial customers alike, but it is also setting itself up as a wealth management resource.

“We were excited to come here, because Texas has so much opportunity,” David said. “Beaumont, being the great port city that it is, is going to keep growing and add value to the market.”

David said he and some of the team used to pass by Beaumont on the way to Houston from Lake Charles, and started to take a serious interest when they learned more about the business and industry in the city. When the Capital One acquisition came through and the opportunity for naming rights on the building came up, he said, the company jumped at the opportunity.

The use of more technology and even online-based companies in wealth management have led to lower fees for customers, but they also nudged more companies out of the industry. That also means companies will look to service and convenience to create long-term relationships with customers.

John D. Lennox, vice president and Lake Charles/Houston sales leader with Hancock Whitney, said the company is trying to take that approach to Beaumont, welcoming people looking to invest in their retirement alongside larger accounts.

“We’re willing to talk with anybody, and hopefully we can help those small investments grow into larger accounts one day,” Lennox said.

jacob.dick@beaumontenterprise.com

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