Valley Bank merges with State Bank

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 14, 2000

Completion of a merger has made State Bank and Trust Company Mississippi’s sixth-largest bank.

Its locations will include the former Valley Bank in Vicksburg.

Also with the move, Vicksburg native Jim Conway, who had headed Jackson and Vicksburg operations for Valley Bank, becomes head of the combined banks’ northern offices.

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Greenwood-based Valley Bank opened in Jackson and at 1911 Mission 66 in Vicksburg in 1999. Merger papers with State Bank and Trust Co. of Brookhaven were signed Friday. At the same time, bank officials announced plans to expand into southwest Mississippi.

The combined bank carries the State Bank and Trust name and includes total assets of more than $500 million.

“This merger makes State Bank and Trust Company the sixth largest state bank in Mississippi,” said Stewart M. Brumfield, chairman and CEO of the new State Bank. “It affords us the opportunity to become one of the largest and most profitable financial institutions in the state.”

The merger will not change significantly the operation for individual customers in Vicksburg, said Willis Brumfield, media director. But commercial borrowers will see a difference.

“It’s going to increase our lending limits and we will be able to make larger commercial loans to local businesses,” Willis Brumfield said.

He said the bank’s lending limit to a single business customer will be more than $7 million.

State Bank will have 20 full-service offices in Mississippi from the Tennessee state line to the Louisiana state line, including 3,000 ATM locations across the South.

“This merger of equals is the first in a series of steps the new institution is taking to become the predominant state bank in Mississippi,” Stewart Brumfield said.

Additional acquisitions are in the works, and he pointed to success of the newly opened branch in McComb as an example of the aggressiveness of the new organization. “In just five short weeks, our bank in McComb is already a profitable $15 million bank,” he said.

Brookhaven will become the operations center for the southern half of the state, and Greenwood will be the operations center for the northern half of the state. Owen Carty will be named the president and CEO of the southern operations. Mark Williamson, CEO of the original State Bank, will be the chief administrative officer of the new State Bank.

In addition to being head of State Bank and Trust’s northern operation, Conway will be in charge of loan administration for the whole bank. The northern operation includes the offices in Jackson, Vicksburg and the Delta and is to include a second branch in Vicksburg. “We had hoped to have that new branch open by now,” said Willis Brumfield. “But for the last 60 to 90 days our time has been taken up with this merger.”

Jim Cook, president in Vicksburg, said the property has already been bought on Halls Ferry Road and an architect is working on plans for the building. He said no definite date has been set for an opening.

The move is the latest change in the banking picture in Vicksburg. Those changes saw Merchants Capital Corp. merge with BancorpSouth; Deposit Guaranty National Bank become AmSouth; First National Bank of Vicksburg merge with Trustmark National Bank; the Port Gibson Bank open offices in Vicksburg and change its name to RiverHills Bank; and Britton & Koontz First National Bank of Natchez buy and operate the Union Planters Bank branch on South Frontage Road.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.