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TheSouthCarolinaBankersSchoolchallengesstudentstolearnmoreabouttheirresponͲ sibiliƟesasbankerswhilepreparingthemforfutureadvancementwithintheindustry. StudentsacquireabeƩerknowledgeofthetotalscopeoftheirorganizaƟonsandtherole theĮnancialservicesindustryplayswithinthenaƟonaleconomy.Theschoolconsistsofa threeͲyearprogressivecourseofinstrucƟonwithaoneͲweekresidentsessioneachyear. TheSouthCarolinaBankersSchoolisrankedamongthepreͲeminentinsƟtuƟonsofits kindinthenaƟon,withmorethan2,800PalmeƩoStatebankershavinggraduatedfrom theprogramoverthepasthalfcentury.  For more InformaƟon: Please contact Carolyn LaĸƩe at the South Carolina Bankers AssociaƟon at 803.779.0850 or by email at carolynlaĸƩe@scbankers.org.

Contents 2009 Park Street, Post Office Box 1483 Columbia, S.C., 29202-1483 Phone: 803.779.0850; Fax: 803.779.0890 Web: www.scbankers.org Chairman Robert R. Hill, Jr. South State Corp., Columbia Chairman-Elect R. Thornwell Dunlap, III Countybank, Greenwood First Vice Chairman David L. Morrow CresCom Bank, Charleston Treasurer Samuel L. “Sam” Erwin IBERIABANK, Greenville Immediate Past Chairman David M. Lominack TD Bank, N.A., Greenville SCBA Staff President and CEO Fred L. Green, III Execu ve Vice President, CFO/BankPAC Treasurer Donna S. Taylor Senior Vice President, Conven ons/Conferences E. Anne Gillespie Senior Vice President, SCBA Services, Inc./ South Carolina Bankers School Carolyn E. Laffi e

Sen. Luke Rankin: new Senate Judiciary Commi ee Chairman, Page 11

Bill Varn - S.C. Banker Marks 70 Years in Banking, Page 17

President’s Message


Pushing Back on Credit Union Encroachment


When Newberry Banks Joined Forces on Ca le Loans 8 Preview of 2017 SCBA Annual Conven on


Look Back at Annual Washington Trip


Banking Careers 101 Draws more than 100


Profile: New S.C. Banking Commissioner Bob Davis 19 Young Bankers Visit State House 2017 Young Bankers Conference a Success

21 22-23

Senior Vice President & Counsel A. O’Neil “Neil” Rashley, Jr., Esq.

Execu ve News


Director, Adver sing & IT M. Caroline Sheorn

Bank News


Administra ve Assistant Bonnie E. Nelson

Personal Transac ons

Director, Marke ng and Communica ons; Editor, Palme o Banker R. Kevin Dietrich The Palme o Banker is a publica on of the South Carolina Bankers Associa on. The magazine exists to serve its members by communica ng news of interest, educa on and SCBA ac vi es. Items from members are welcome, however the editor reserves the right to refuse copy. With the excep on of official announcements, the SCBA disclaims responsibility for opinions expressed and statements made in ar cles published in the Palme o Banker.


S.C. Bankers School: 56 Years and Coun ng


LSU Graduate School of Banking a Smart Move


New Associate Members




Good Samaritans


Cover: South Carolina Bankers outside the U.S. Capitol Building, Washington, D.C., during the SCBA’s Washington Trip in March. Photo by Mary Collins Atkinson.

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President’s Message

Don’t Underestimate the Difference You Can Make


f you’ve been involved with the South Carolina Bankers Associa on for any length of me, you’ve likely heard me and again that the greatest value of being a part of the SCBA is the poli cal advocacy the associa on performs on behalf of its members. But the simple fact is we’re most effec ve when we’re figh ng our ba les together. That’s because our elected officials weigh comments more heavily when they come from their own cons tuents, rather than from organizaons represen ng cons tuents. The SCBA does a great deal of work behind the scenes, such as monitoring the State House on a daily basis, keeping tabs on bills in Washington, D.C., and scrunizing regulatory changes. But we’re also involved with a number of other events Green where poli cal advocacy is the major theme, including the annual Washington Trip, the Young Bankers’ visit to the State House and having SCBA members tes fy before members of the legislature (all of which are highlighted elsewhere in this issue of the Palme o Banker). Consider the recent Washington Trip. Everyone who went was very comfortable with the issues and in rela ng how regula on affects not only their banks but also their customers, and that carried a great deal of impact. Closer to home, the Young Bankers’ visit to the State House came about following Sen. Thomas Alexander’s a endance at last year’s Young Bankers Conference. Sen. Alexander was a speaker at the 2016 conference and a erward he invited the Young Bankers to call on him in Columbia. Nearly two dozen Young Bankers took him up on the offer and visited with Sen. Alexander at the State House, discussing issues of importance to our industry.

This year, Sen. Shane Massey spoke at the Young Bankers Conference, which was held in May, and he too has extended an invita on for the Young Bankers to visit him, next session in Columbia. During a recent subcommi ee hearing on a Senate bill that would enable credit unions to greatly expand their fields of membership, bankers filled the room, with several either tes fying or being ready to tes fy as to why the bill was bad not just for banking, but for the state as a whole. Finally, many community banks in the state received threatening le ers from a Pennsylvania law firm indica ng their websites were not ADA compliant and offering to se le. Members of the SCBA’s team met with the S.C. A orney General’s office, seeking assistance with the ma er, and the la er issued a cease-and-desist order to the out-ofstate firm, poin ng out that the unauthorized prac ce of law is a felony in South Carolina. All of the above was accomplished even though we have only just scratched the surface in terms of banking’s poten al to make things happen. Consider that there are approximately 25,000 men and women employed by our industry in South Carolina. We may not be able to get every single one of these individuals to par cipate poli cally, but the more that have some level of involvement, the be er the chances of a favorable legisla ve outcome. Lawmakers take no ce when cons tuents par cipate in the poli cal process. They par cularly take no ce when cons tuents are well versed on the issues, ask important ques ons and can provide solid, reasonable solu ons. Any group can hand out tee-shirts with its name on it to members and have those members parade around the halls of the legislature or Capitol Hill. But when you can bring to bear dozens, scores or even hundreds of individuals who know what the issues are, why they’re important and what the ramifica ons are not only for themselves but

for their thousands of customers, you’re going to get both the a en on and the respect of lawmakers. Some individuals, par cularly younger bankers, may not feel confident about their level of understanding regarding state and na onal issues connected to banking. That’s something with which the SCBA can assist. One of our most important responsibili es is ensuring that members understand key topics and ge ng bankers up to speed in any number of important areas. That said, if you’re working in banking you’ve almost certainly already go en a good bit of the groundwork covered

Lawmakers par cularly take no ce when cons tuents are well versed on the issues, ask important ques ons and can provide solid, reasonable solu ons. in terms of understanding ma ers of significance to our industry, even if you don’t realize it. You can’t do the job we do, interac ng with customers and other bankers, and not comprehend the concerns that your fellow employees and the people you serve come across on a regular basis. You may even surprise yourself with how well versed you are on many of the topics bankers are trying to tackle right now. Ul mately, the more bankers who take the me to get involved in the poli cal process – whether it’s making the SCBA’s trip to Washington, traveling with the Young Bankers to the State House or simply wri ng or calling your legislators on important issues – the be er it is for banks and bank customers.

(Fred L. Green is president and chief execu ve officer of the South Carolina Bankers Associa on.) Spring 2017 I Palme o Banker


Cover Story

SCBA Leads Fight to Resist Credit Union Expansion By Kevin Dietrich Palme o Banker Editor


‘Spra Savings & Loan, one of the smallest banking ins tu ons in the state, paid $80,000 in corporate income taxes last year. That’s more than all South Carolina credit unions paid – combined.’

comparison, has $2 billion in assets, and the top 10 federally chartered South Carolina credit unions have more than $10 billion in combined assets. All already possess a major advantage over banks regarding taxes. “Spra Savings & Loan, one of the smallest banking ins tu ons in the state, paid $80,000 in corporate income taxes last year,” said SCBA President and CEO Fred Green during tes mony at a Senate Subcommi ee hearing March 29. “That’s more than all South Carolina credit unions paid – combined.” Also tes fying was Jus n Strickland, president of Southern First Bank, who said, “Passage of this bill would be a signal to South Carolina’s community banks that the General Assembly favors the growth of credit unions over taxpaying banks. “State-chartered credit unions have the ability to expand membership today by simply making an applica on to the state Board of Financial Ins tu ons,” he added. “This bill isn’t necessary.” So, the ques on is, why the sudden

he South Carolina Bankers Associa on con nues to lead the fight to repel credit union efforts to greatly increase their compe ve advantage over banks. The SCBA has worked diligently over the past few months to ensure that S337, the Credit Union Expansion bill, is stopped, but also to educate lawmakers regarding the true intent of the proposed legisla on. S337 seeks to vastly change how –Fred Green state-chartered credit unions operate in South Carolina. Among changes the President & CEO bill ini ally sought to allow these credit SCBA unions to accept membership from “communi es” of any size, including encaught the a en on of many bankers re coun es, throughout the state; and because of South Carolina’s 67 credit to offer membership if the credit union unions, only 11 are state chartered. Of has an “electronic banking presence” in the la er, only one has as much as $150 that area. million in assets and four have less than It would have also: $6 million. • Eliminated the requirement that a Founders Federal Credit Union, by credit union must get approval from the state Board of Financial Ins tuons if a group, associa on or community is greater than 250; • Would have required the banking commissioner to accept an applica on for membership, and if the commissioner did not do so within 30 days it would have been deemed approved; and • Would have allowed the commissioner to only review a membership applica on from a safety and soundness perspec ve. Southern First Bank President Jus n Strickland speaking before the Senate Banking Subcommi ee The far-reaching bill hearing, March 29, in Columbia.


Spring 2017 I Palme o Banker

interest in expanding opportuni es for statechartered credit unions? “We think it’s a con ngency plan by the federally chartered credit unions so that they can switch to an even-more liberal state charter, as wri en in the bill,” Green said. Credit unions are employing a two-pronged a ack in a bid to expand. At the na onal level, the Na onal Credit Union Administra on, which regulates federal credit unions, last fall further expanded already loose fields of membership from which federal credit unions could draw customers. Credit unions are also at work at the state level, with S337 being introduced in February. The American Bankers Associa on sued the NCUA last December, seeking to overturn the regulator’s rule, claiming it unlawfully expanded fields of membership for federal credit unions. S337 is seen as a fallback for federally chartered credit unions in South Carolina should the NCUA expansion rule be struck down. An Amendment The SCBA’s lobbying efforts as well as le ers, email and phone calls from community bankers, have resulted in credit unions abandoning the original language for S337 and offering an amendment that significantly changed the bill. The most noteworthy revision is reestablishment of the state Board of Financial Ins tu on’s power to approve field of membership changes. However, the amendment s ll seeks to give credit unions greater ability to expand, according to Neil Rashley, SCBA senior vice president and counsel. S337’s proposed amendment would:

site or mobile banking to enable membership instead of a physical presence; • Increase the threshold number of poten al members where a credit union must get board approval from 250 to 3,000; and • Allow credit unions to offer check cashing, money orders and remittances to nonmembers within a field of membership. “The stated reason for the bill is to grow state-chartered credit unions but S337 will also incen vize larger federal credit unions to convert charters to take advantage of more liberal field of membership rules,” •

Allow state credit unions to accept membership from “communi es” of any size, including en re counes, throughout the state; Allow state credit unions to offer membership if the credit union has the “ability to serve” a community, group or associa on. This would s ll mean having an “electronic banking presence” such as a web-

‘Passage of this bill would be a signal to South Carolina’s community banks that the General Assembly favors the growth of credit unions over tax-paying banks.’ –JusƟn Strickland President Southern First Bank

Rashley said. A second Senate subcommi ee hearings on S337 was held April 19. Between the two hearing the five-member subcommi ee heard tes mony from several bankers. At the conclusion of the second subcommi ee hearing a moon was approved to con nue receiving comments on the bill and to carry it over to the next legisla ve session. Making expansion easier for credit unions is bad for smaller communi es, some of which cannot support more than one financial ins tu on, Russell Laffi e, chief opera ng officer for Hampton-based Palme o State Bank, said during tes mony. “If a credit union moves into a small town that’s already served by a community bank, the bank would probably end up having to move out because it simply could not compete with an ins tu on that doesn’t pay corporate income taxes,” he told the subcommi ee. Randy Dolyniuk, chairman and CEO of CoastalStates Bank, said in tes mony See S337, page 17 Spring 2017 I Palme o Banker



1922: County’s Banks Join Forces, Lend Cash for Cows By Kevin Dietrich Palme o Banker Editor


outh Carolina banks and bankers possess a well-deserved reputa on for a willingness to work together for a greater good during difficult condions. This was evident in late 2015 when flooding devastated parts of the state, and banks commi ed more than $1 million to support disaster-relief efforts across South Carolina. But such endeavors are nothing new to the Palme o State. Consider that nearly a century ago the banks of rural Newberry County joined forces to help push an economic diversifica on effort that included assis ng farmers with the purchase of cows. The goal of the 1922 project was to bolster the number of milk cows in the county in order to ensure that a new creamery, also promoted by the county’s banks, would prove successful, as sought to wean farmers from dependence on co on, which was coming under siege from the dreaded boll weevil. “The establishment of the creamery in Newberry means more than can be said toward figh ng the boll weevil, for if every farmer in the county will milk two or three cows and sell the cream to the creamery and feed skimmed milk to the hogs and chickens and make proper use of the natural fer lizer they get from the cows they will soon be in posi on to run farms on a cash-paying basis,” the Newberry Observer wrote in July 1922. To assist with this effort, eight of the nine banks based in Newberry County – The Exchange Bank of Newberry, Commercial Bank of Newberry, Na onal Bank of Newberry, Bank of Whitmire, Farmers Bank of Chappells, Bank of Prosperity, People’s Na onal Bank of Prosperity and the Farmers and Merchants Bank of Li le Mountain – agreed to lend money to help “reliable and responsible farmers” purchase cows on credit, the Observer reported. “The banks who have agreed to this proposi on are to be commended for


Spring 2017 I Palme o Banker

‘The banks who have agreed to this proposi on are to be commended for their act, for indeed they are giving assistance when it is most needed.’ – Newberry


July 7, 1922 their act, for indeed they are giving assistance when it is most needed,” the paper added. Newberry County and all of South Carolina was embarking on what would be a dark period. For while most of the rest of the country didn’t go into a depression un l 1929, hard mes hit the Palme o State almost immediately a er the end of World War I. South Carolina’s economy was almost en rely dependent on co on. With the end of the war, prices plunged as demand dried up. This was exacerbated by the arrival of the boll weevil in the state around the same me and an overextension of credit. Co on prices fell from 40

cents a pound at the beginning of 1920 to 13.5 cents by yearend, and remained depressed throughout the 1920s. The boll weevil wreaked havoc on co on acreage across the state, further hur ng farmers. The pest’s arrival and impact can be seen in the amount of co on grown in South Carolina between 1919 and 1921. In 1919, some 840,587 bales of cotton were ginned in the Palme o State. By 1921, that number had fallen to 494,261. This, when Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas all registered significant increases, despite the onslaught of the boll weevil in those states, as well. The destruc ve influence of the insect was worsened by the fact that more than half of the state’s workers were employed in agriculture, nearly all in co on. Of the remainder, approximately 25 percent worked in manufacturing, primarily in the co on mills, which was also impacted by the failure of co on crops. The weevil could lay waste to co on fields and wiped out many of the tenant farmers working in the state. Land values plummeted as the decade wore on,

Beginning in the early 1920s, many of Newberry County’s banks loaned money to farmers to enable the la er to purchase milk cows, like those above, to boost the economy.

hur ng farmers and bankers alike.

to be established in Newberry within a short me. The creamery ‘Leaving One and All Helpless’ when established will not only By October 1921, the destruc on handle all cream produced in the was becoming evident in South county, but will create a market Carolina. for all products of the farm. If you The co on crop was almost a have not promised cream from total failure in and around many your cows, DO SO AT ONCE. You parts of the Midlands, according owe it to yourself, your wife and to an ar cle in the Saluda Standchildren and to this grand old ard that fall. county of Newberry to help bring “Lands planted in co on will not about more favorable agricultural near make rents promised the condi ons and a greater commerlandlords, and if they do not share cial development. We are hear ly the loss with the tenants I don’t in accord with the plans of the see how any business can go at all creamery and will do everything next year. We can’t see how peowithin our power to make it a ple are to pay any obliga ons that success, and we will be glad to they are due or even pay the next have our customers come in and taxes as they will have nothing to talk with us about the purchase of pay with. addi onal cows.” “The awful pest, the boll weevil, The creamery, a stock company, has destroyed the co on almost opened in the summer of 1922 en rely, leaving one and all helpand con nued un l 1978, when less, and at the mercy of those na onal brands took over and the they owe. Our people don’t know opera on ceased, Shealy said. how to proceed or what to do. It is Unfortunately, the banks that a calamity that has come upon us had been among the most ardent that no one can help. Our people supporters of the creamery would are downcast and almost where nearly all go under between 1925 they are ready to surrender and and 1931. Of course, the period was a trying me for South Carogive everything up. If some aid Adver sement which ran in Newberry County lina banks, as hundreds failed as or help some way does not come newspapers in 1922, paid for by three key county banks, agriculture staggered along with along many will be down and out. urging farmers to support new creamery. slumping co on prices. People are so blue that they are Of the eight banks that got ge ng almost black, and I hope economy away from reliance on a single behind the creamery drive, seven had some way will be provided so they can crop by bringing in new industry in the closed their doors by 1931. The other go on and pay their obliga ons later, creamery. ins tu on, the Commercial Bank of which those who are honest will surely They even went so far as to take out do when they can. They cannot do it adver sements in the local papers extol- Newberry, merged with South Carolina State Bank in 1931 and the combined now under exis ng circumstances.” ling the creamery’s benefit. en ty was later acquired by South CaroNewberry County, like most coun es One ad, paid for by the Exchange Bank lina Na onal. Today, Commercial Bank in the state, was almost exclusively of Newberry, the Commercial Bank of of Newberry’s loca on in the Newberry devoted to farming co on, according to Newberry and the Na onal Bank of town square survives as a Wells Fargo county historian Ernest Shealy. Newberry in the spring of 1922, read as branch. “Co on was everywhere back then,” he follows: Yet, among the las ng legacies of the said. “Today we think of the county as “Realizing the fact, as most everyone eight Newberry County banks was the having a lot of trees, but to give you an does, that it is an absolute impossibility idea just how big co on was, the area to produce a large acreage of co on un- effort to establish the creamery, which, as with banks in other parts of the that encompasses the Sumter Na onal der boll weevil condi ons, we strongly state, helped farmers and other county Forest was en rely co on.” urge the farmers and business men of residents weather the coming economic The Newberry banks, therefore, Newberry County to support in every hard mes a li le more easily. were working to diversify the county’s possible way the proposed creamery Spring 2017 I Palme o Banker


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Meet Your Legislator

New Judiciary Chairman an Old Hand in State House By Kevin Dietrich Palme o Banker Editor


er nearly a quarter century in the S.C. Senate, Luke Rankin has seen myriad issues come and go. This year, infrastructure is paramount for the General Assembly, according to the Horry County Republican. “Our biggest accomplishment or our biggest failure will be the passage of a bill that creates a sustainable source of income for road construc on,” he said. “You cannot maintain the infrastructure we have in this state with the money we’ve put aside for it. “It’s important to business, which means it’s important to banking, and it’s important for safety,” Rankin added. “It’s also important for the image of our state. We don’t want people passing through South Carolina ge ng the impression we’re a state of potholes.” While there seems to be li le doubt that Palme o State infrastructure is in need of an upgrade – the American Society of Civil Engineers claims driving on roads in need of repair in South Carolina costs each driver $502 per year, and 10.3 percent of South Carolina bridges are rated as being structurally deficient, for example – finding a source for funding remains a point of conten on. The S.C. Department of Transporta on has said it needs $1.1 billion more per year for the next 23 years. In response, both the Senate and House have introduced bills that would, among other things, raise the state gas tax. That op on is debated by some who say DOT isn’t making the best use of the funding it already receives. Rankin, who took over as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Commi ee last December, is a member of several other commi ees, including Senate Banking and Insurance. Rankin has heard from several bankers who have voiced opinions against S337, the a empt by credit unions opera ng in South Carolina to greatly increase their ability to expand, adding that he

hasn’t heard a “great hue and cry for changing the law.” An issue which Rankin has go en considerable feedback on is “automa c stay,” a legal procedure where a party objec ng to a project permit can halt the project by simply sending a le er of objec on. The defendant, who has already won the permit by proving all necessary criteria is then required to go through the en re process again. S112 passes the burden onto the group appealing the permit, rather than the group that has already gone through the legwork involved with gaining the permit, according to Rankin. Those objec ng to the permit would have to at least make a good faith effort showing that they have legi mate grounds to challenge the project. “What this bill would do is make it

Luke A. Rankin Title: State Senator, District 33 (Horry County). Hometown: Horry County. Age: 55. Profession: A orney. Educa on: Bachelor’s Degree, University of South Carolina; Juris Doctor, University of South Carolina Law School. Family: Wife, Lindsey; one son, one daughter.

so en es couldn’t just hold up the process without having some skin in the game,” he said. Rankin said another important issue that needs to be resolved is the state’s underfunded pension plan. Years of ill- med investments and ques onable investment strategies have le the state’s pension plan woefully underfunded, to the point that promised benefits to future re rees are endangered. South Carolina began to address the problem in 2012 with reforms that hiked contribu on rates, ghtened re rement rules and trimmed future benefits. However, that effort wasn’t nearly enough and the deficit has connued to grow. Now facing a shor all es mated by some at $40 billion, lawmakers are deba ng H3726, which proposes increasing required payroll contribu ons for government employees and agencies. The la er, obviously, would come from taxpayers. Another considera on is possibly closing the pension system to future employees, as proposed by the Senate version of the bill. “It will be painful, but it will be a shared pain with the state doing more that it has before,” Rankin said of the impact involved with the proposed legisla on. Spring 2017 I Palme o Banker


SCBA Annual Conven on

Florida Gulf Coast Site of 2017 SCBA Annual Convention The Florida Gulf Coast will be the site of 2017 South Carolina Bankers Associa on Annual Conven on, June 8-11, 2017. This year’s conven on will be held at The RitzCarlton, Naples, located in Naples, Fla. It will mark the 117th consecu ve gathering of our state’s bankers and associates, and, per usual, will be held at a des na on loca on. The Ritz-Carlton, Naples is among the top des na on resorts in the world, offering beau ful scenery, a variety of outdoor ac vi es and some of the best golf anywhere. The resort features a full-service spa, two outdoor swimming pools, outdoor tennis courts and a 24-hour health club. Highlights of the annual conven on include top-notch speakers, business sessions, graduate schools of banking reunions and a prayer breakfast. Speakers include Dan Blanton, immediate-past chairman of the American Bankers Associa on and former chairman and chief execu ve officer of Georgia Bank & Trust, acquired recently by South State Bank; Anirban Basu, chairman and 12

Spring 2017 I Palme o Banker

chief execu ve officer of Sage Policy Group Inc.; Major Dan “Noonan” Rooney, a fighter pilot with three combat tours in Iraq, a PGA golf professional and founder of the Folds of Honor; and Rev. Brad Smith, founder of the Souper Bowl of

Caring and pastor of Eastminster Presbyterian Church in Columbia. For more informa on, contact SCBA Senior Vice President E. Anne Gillespie at 803.779.0850 or by email at agillespie@ scbankers.org.

View of old-town Naples, Fla., near where 2017 SCBA Annual Conven on will be held.

Speakers Scheduled for 2017 SCBA Annual Convention

Anirban Basu, chairman and chief execu ve officer, Sage Policy Group Inc.; chairman, Maryland Economic Development Commission; chairman, Bal more County Economic Advisory Commi ee.

R. Daniel Blanton, immediate-past chairman, American Bankers Associa on; past president and CEO, Georgia Bank & Trust; member, Advisory Board, Augusta University’s Hull College of Business.

Major Dan “Noonan” Rooney, fighter pilot with three combat tours in Iraq; PGA golf professional; founder, Folds of Honor; mo va onal speaker for two U.S. Ryder Cup teams.

Rev. Brad Smith, founder, Souper Bowl of Caring; minister, Eastminster Presbyterian Church; member, board of directors, Columbia Theological Seminary.

June 8-11, 2017, The Ritz-Carlton, Naples, Naples, Fla. Spring 2017 I Palme o Banker


Washington Trip

SCBA Delegation Stays Busy During Visit to Capital The South Carolina Bankers Associaon’s annual trip to Washington, D.C., enjoyed a record turnout as more than 30 bankers made the trek north for what was a busy and important stretch in the na on’s capital. Despite an ac vity-packed three days in Washington March 20-22, South Carolina bankers were able to meet with each member of the South Carolina congressional delega on and/or their legisla ve aides to discuss industry-important issues, said SCBA President and CEO Fred Green. “All of our bankers were energe c, engaged and very comfortable talking through the issues with our congressmen,” Green added. “Trips like this do make a difference.” The visit began Monday morning with a briefing on the different issues SCBA members were to discuss with South Carolina Congressmen. ABA Execu ve Vice President James Ballen ne then

‘All of our bankers were energe c, engaged and very comfortable talking through the issues with our congressmen.’ Fred Green President & CEO, SCBA spent me with the SCBA con ngent to provide addi onal informa on and offer sugges ons on how to get the most from congressional visits. Dinner Monday night was at the Washington office of law firm Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, and was hosted by Nelson Mullins, Ellio Davis Decosimo and the Hovde Group. Long me U.S. Rep. James Clyburn came by and met with everyone during the dinner.

Tuesday, the SCBA delega on was among more than 1,500 bankers who were in Washington for the ABA Government Rela ons Summit. Given the Palme o State’s size, South Carolina was very well represented by its bankers, Green said. Tuesday evening’s dinner was hosted by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta. The group was also able to a end a luncheon with Rep. Joe Wilson. Green reiterated that the trip came during an even ul three-day s nt in Washington. “When we were making visits to members of our Congressional delegaon, Congress was hearing from the FBI on wiretapping and Russian spying, the House of Representa ves was preparing for a vote on the future of Obamacare and the Senate was ge ng ready for vote on the Supreme Court nomina on of Neil Gorsuch,” he said.

Le : Jennifer Jones, Ci zens Building & Loan, with former New York Mayor Rudi Guliani. Right: Kevin Lindler, First Ci zens Bank; Rep. Jim Clyburn; SCBA President and CEO Fred Green. Opposite page, clockwise from top le : SCBA a endees with the Capitol Dome in the background. Top right: Charlie Rivers, BNC Bank, and David Morrow, CresCom Bank. Mid-upper right: SCBA members enjoy dinner hosted by Kevin Wykoff and Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta on March 21. Mid-lower right: Bankers with U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn outside Nelson Mullins’ Washington office. Bo om right, from le : Thornwell Dunlap, Countybank; Ashley and Kevin Lindler, First Ci zens Bank. Bo om middle: SCBA members listen to a Congressional staffer inside a Capitol Hill corridor. Bo om le : Sam Erwin, Iberiabank, le ; and David Lominack, TD Bank. Mid-lower right: ABA Senior Vice President James Ballen ne talks with South Carolina bankers about issues of importance to the banking industry. Mid-upper right: Con ngent of South Carolina Bankers with Sen. Lindsay Graham. 14

Spring 2017 I Palme o Banker

Spring 2017 I Palme o Banker


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Enterprise Bank’s Varn Celebrates 70 Years in Industry


o give you an idea how long Bill Varn has been involved with banking, he began his career when Harry Truman sat in the White House and Strom Thurmond was an Edgefield a orney seeking the governor’s office. This year marks Varn’s 70th in the financial services industry, all with the same ins tu on, Enterprise Bank of South Carolina, in Ehrhardt. There are no official records, but Varn, who was named director emeritus of the Bamberg County ins tu on in February, is believed to be the Palme o State’s longest-serving banker ever. He spent more than 60 years as president of Varn Enterprise Bank, beginning in 1951. “He has been the heart and the soul of this bank for more than half a century,” said Reid Pollard, Enterprise Bank’s president and CEO. “I don’t know of anyone who has worked in banking, certainly not at one bank, for 70 years. And he has been crucial to the health of the whole Lowcountry area through his efforts at the bank and elsewhere.” Varn, now 94, joined Enterprise Bank in 1946, a er serving as a Navy test pilot during World War II. Enterprise Bank was originally headquartered in Smoaks, Varn’s hometown. In 1936 the bank was robbed twice, so Varn’s father decided to relocate to Ehrhardt, where there was be er police

protec on. ones who would deliver seed and fer Varn, a graduate of Bamberg’s Carl- lizer to them.” isle Military School, spent two years at What was a $1 million bank when Clemson before joining the Navy. During Varn took over in 1951 is today a $333 his me at Clemson he met his future million ins tu on, with offices spread bride. Varn had stopped at Columbia among six coun es, from Orangeburg College to give a ride to a girl from Smoaks. The girl, it turned out, had a roommate, Sophie Shuler, that Varn took a liking to. They would end up being married for 69 years. Ini ally, Varn spent his first few years a er the war farming corn, cotton and tobacco during the day, and making loans for the bank at night. When Varn’s uncle, the bank president, died in March 1951, Varn took over. He eventually became president, CEO and chairman, before turning over the reins in 2013. He served as a full director un l earlier this year, when he became director emeritus. Varn’s son, Gene, is now chairman of the bank. Bill Varn in his Navy pilot’s uniform during World War II. While Enterprise concentrates on small-business and County down to Charleston County. consumer lending today, ag lending was Just as importantly, he’s kept Ehrhardt the focus when Varn came aboard. going, as his bank has provided jobs, “Back then, the average farmer would loans and opportunity in the small rural borrow between $300 and $1,000 a town and surrounding area. year to operate his farm,” he said during a 2001 interview. “And we were the – Kevin Dietrich

S337 to the Senate subcommi ee that he understands credit unions enjoy an advantage in not paying 35 percent in corporate income taxes. “However, I’ve also understood that to maintain this advantage the law provides, credit unions must have restric-

ons on who can be members,” he said. “These proposed expansions are drama c, troubling and inconsistent with the origional purpose of a credit union charter.” The bo om line is that credit unions already have a dis nct compe ve

advantage in not having to pay the corporate income taxes that banks and savings and loans are required to pay. Allowing credit unions to operate like banks without the same restric ons facing banks creates an unfair, and untenable, advantage, Green said. Spring 2017 I Palme o Banker


Banking Careers 101

Students from Across S.C. Attend Banking Careers 101 College students from across South Carolina came out for the SCBA’s annual Banking Careers 101, held Feb. 8 at Seawell’s in Columbia. More than 110 students from 13 South Carolina colleges and universi es were on hand, including representa ves from large schools such as the University of South Carolina and Clemson University, medium-sized ins tu ons such as Winthrop University and Francis Marion University, and small schools, including Allen University and Voorhees Col-

Photos from 2017 Banking Careers 101, held in Columbia. Highlights included, bo om le , Banking Careers 101 Chairman Allison Cranford addressing attendees; bo om center, Margi Fleming and Rhonda Midge e, panelists; and, far right, speaker Chip Hardy of FinTrust Investment Advisors.


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lege. Other schools represented were: Benedict College, Claflin University, Columbia College, Lander University, Morris College, Presbyterian College and Wofford College. The students were split up into several groups and spent 25 minutes in the different sessions, each of which focused on an specific area of banking, including IT and opera ons; lending; compliance, credit risk and accoun ng; management training, retail and investments; and corporate social responsibility, market-

ing and human resources. More than three dozen bankers from across the state were on hand, to answer ques ons and offer advice on how students can get into the banking industry. New this year was the opportunity for students to sign up to shadow bankers at different ins tu ons, to give them a be er feel for the industry. Sponsors of the event were Southern First Bank; TD Bank, N.A.; CresCom Bank; Sandhills Bank; and Wells Fargo.


Davis: Commissoner’s Position Culimination of Career By Kevin Dietrich Palme o Banker Editor


ob Davis says that the events placing him in Columbia as South Carolina’s first new commissioner of banking since 1991 occurred in a way that he could have never an cipated. Davis, who took over for Commissioner Louie Jacobs earlier this year, started his career in the 1970s as an a orney in private prac ce, then worked for most of the 1980s in the law department of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in Washington, D.C., and, between Davis 1989 and 2013, served as general counsel for three different bank holding companies, including First Financial Holdings, the parent company of First Federal Bank of Charleston. This was all quite different from the career as a trial a orney that the Maryland na ve planned for himself when he graduated from law school in Bal more. The fact that he is now in South Carolina causes Davis to reflect. He had spent nearly two decades as managing director and general counsel of Bal more-based Provident Bankshares Corp., a $7 billion company and Maryland’s largest independent bank with offices in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia. In 2009 Provident was acquired by New York’s M&T Bank. Davis nearly wound up in Buffalo as a result of that transac on. Instead, he learned of an opportunity at First Federal of Charleston, the long me financial services company that served most of the South Carolina coast. Davis was offered and accepted the posi on as execu ve vice president and general counsel of First Federal and, in 2010, he and his wife moved to the

Palme o State and built a house in Mt. Pleasant. First Federal, of course, was acquired by South Carolina Bank and Trust in 2013 to create South State Bank. Davis worked on that transac on and exited shortly a er it was completed. Today, Davis is approaching his new posi on as banking commissioner with both an external and an internal focus. The external focus primarily involves outreach – visi ng the ins tu ons his office regulates and mee ng with their management teams. He has also made it a point to visit a few key members of the legislature who have an impact on the financial services industry in our state. “Ge ng out and mee ng the bankers and legislators has been very rewarding,” Davis says. “I want feedback about my office – nega ve as well as posi ve – things that I can take back to the office and discuss with the staff. The goal is to be responsive.” The internal focus Davis refers to is about iden fying, learning and understanding all of the various du es, responsibili es and workings of the banking division of the state Board of Financial Ins tu ons as it oversees all of the state-chartered banks, credit unions, savings and loans and trust companies – a total of 53 ins tu ons. Davis has begun working on what he calls “evolu onary changes” within the division. One change that is currently being implemen ng has to do with the agency’s use of its review examiners. These four individuals work in the Columbia office and form part of the team to help finalize the reports created from the on-site examina ons carried out by field examiners. In the past, an ins tu on’s review examiner might change from examina on to examina on. The new approach is to assign each review examiner a por olio of specific banks, crea ng a consistent and con nuing point of contact between the office and each regulated

ins tu on. “This will lead to a be er regulatory rela onship,” predicts Davis. A second change is the transi on to a single applica on, acceptable to both the FDIC and the state of South Carolina, for such things as a new branch, a branch reloca on, etc. “It will take a li le me to fully implement, but it will be a marked improvement from requiring our banks to file two applica ons – one with the FDIC and a separate one with us – for each ac on they wish to take,” he said. Davis credits this idea to the management of one of the banks he recently met with. Davis is also quick to complement the staff of his new office. “They’re very good at what they do,” he said. “This allows me the freedom to pursue this external/internal strategy I’ve described with the knowledge that the division will keep opera ng smoothly while I iden fy ways to add value.” Davis’ background and skills caused him to stand out when it came me to replace Commissioner Jacobs, according to Fleetwood Hassell, president and chief execu ve officer of The Bank of South Carolina, a member of the State Board of Financial Ins tu ons and part of the commi ee that sought candidates to fill the posi on of commissioner of banking. “Bob’s background in banking, law and regulatory compliance made him a natural fit for the job,” Hassell said. “His comprehensive thought process and ability to communicate clearly and concisely is excep onal and, perhaps I should not men on this of a bank regulator, but he has a keen sense of humor as well.” Davis sees his new posi on as the ideal cap to his nearly 40 years of involvement with banking law and regula on. “This job just felt like it would be a perfect fit for me and, three months in, I haven’t encountered anything to change that opinion,” he said. “It’s the perfect opportunity to use all of the things I’ve learned during my career.” Spring 2017 I Palme o Banker


2016 Bank & Credit Union Rankings See the top-performing community banks and credit unions in the US in 2016.

Banks under $1 billion in assets 1. First State Bank - Shallowater, TX 2. First National Bank of Syracuse - Syracuse, KS 3. Wells Bank - Platte City, MO

Banks $1 billion to $10 billion in assets 1. Metro City Bank - Doraville, GA 2. Sterling Bancorp, Inc. - SouthďŹ eld, MI 3. Royal Business Bank - Los Angeles, CA

Credit Unions 1. Idaho Central Credit Union - Chubbuck, ID 2. Superior Credit Union Inc. - Lima, OH 3. Lake Michigan Credit Union - Grand Rapids, MI

> marketintelligence.spglobal.com/2016rankings

Rankings previously released by SNL Financial, now an offering of S&P Global Market Intelligence. Copyright Š 2017 S&P Global Market Intelligence, a division of S&P Global. All rights reserved. For a complete list of all rankings, methodology and/or other criteria, please refer to the 2016 bank and credit union rankings reports.


Young Bankers Visit State House, Talk to Legislators si ng in the balcony, Some 20 individuals to the en re House. took part in the Feb. 22 Subjects that the Young Bankers visit to young bankers disthe State House, meetcussed with legislators ing with key legislators, included: being recognized and • The credit learning more about union membership key issues facing the expansion bill. Bankindustry. ers emphasized what Representa ves their ins tu ons did in from large banks such the communi es they as Wells Fargo and serve and how allowTD Bank and smaller ing credit unions to ins tu ons, including increase membership South Carolina Comcreates an even more munity Bank and the uneven playing field for Bank of Travelers Rest banks; and took part in the opporThe Young tunity to advocate for Young bankers, with Sen. Thomas Alexander, center, during their Feb. 22 visit • Bankers Division’s fithe banking industry. to the Gresse e Building, on the State House Grounds. nancial literacy efforts, The group was hosted Alexander, but also sat down with Sen. college scholarships and Banking by Sen. Thomas Alexander (R-Oconee), Ronnie Cromer (R-Newberry), Senate Careers 101. chairman of Senate Labor, Commerce Banking and Insurance chairman. For more informa on on the Young and Industry Commi ee who also sits The S.C. House was in session and Rep. Bankers, contact SCBA Senior Vice Presion the Senate Banking and Insurance Bill Sandifer (R-Oconee), chairman of dent Carolyn Laffi e at 803.779.0850 or Commi ee. the House Labor, Commerce and Indusat carolynlaffi e@scbankers.org. The group not only met and spoke with try Commi ee, introduced the group,

Asset Liability, Compliance Focus of Upcoming Conferences The SCBA is winding down its 2017 fiscal year, but there are a number of high-caliber educa onal events on the organiza on’s calendar between now and June. And, of course, once the summer season passes, there will be many more seminars, conferences, workshops and symposia for bankers of all levels to be er their abili es and bolster their ins tu ons. In addi on, both the SCBA Annual Conven on and the South Carolina Bankers School are on the horizon. “We do our best to determine what it is our bankers want and need in terms of career development,” said SCBA President and CEO Fred Green. “Our goal, first and foremost, is to make sure our members are ge ng the educaonal opportuni es that will prove most beneficial, both personally and for their ins tu ons.”

‘Our goal, first and foremost, is make sure SCBA members are ge ng the educa onal opportunies that will prove most beneficial, both for them personally and for their ins tu ons.’ –Fred Green SCBA President and CEO In addi on to such highly touted events as the Annual Conven on (details about which can be found on page 11) and the South Carolina Bankers School (page 19), the S.C. Bankers Associa on has several other important

educa onal events coming up: • SCBA Asset Liability Conference, May 3 at the Inn @ USC Wyndham Garden in Columbia; • SCBA Special Assets Workshop, May 11 at the Inn @ USC Wyndham Garden in Columbia; • SCBA Spring Compliance Conference, May 22-23, in Columbia; and • SCBA HMDA Conference, June 22, at the Marrio in Columbia. For more informa on on the above educa onal events contact SCBA Senior Vice President E. Anne Gillespie at 803.779.0850, or by email at agillespie@scbankers.org. For informa on on the 2017 SCBA Annual Conven on, contact Gillespie. For informa on on the South Carolina Bankers School contact SCBA Senior Vice President Carolyn E. Laffi e at 803.779.0850, or by email at carolynlaffi e@scbankers.org. Spring 2017 I Palme o Banker


Young Bankers Division

More than 200 Turn Out For YBD Conference at Lake Oconee, Ga. The 2017 Young Bankers Division Conference, held at The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee, Greensboro, Ga., was a ended by more than 200 individuals, including bankers, associate members, spouses, guests and several top-notch speakers. The conference, held March 10-12, featured S.C. Sen. Majority Leader Shane Massey; Kevin P. O’Keefe, principal with Sandler O’Neill + Partners; Tim Koch, president of the Graduate School of Banking at Colorado and a professor of Finance at the University of South Carolina; Mick Oppy, vice president, Financial Ins tu on Products for Van v; and Chris Roche, vice president of financial educa on at EverFi. The prayer breakfast talk was given by Amos Disasa, the co-pastor at Downtown Church in Columbia. Young Bankers Division Chairman Blake Taylor, senior vice president at Southern First Bank, oversaw the conference; incoming Chairman Jennifer Jones, president and CEO of Ci zens Building & Loan, will begin her one-year term as chairman on July 1.

Top, clockwise, from le : Incoming Young Bankers Division Chairman Jennifer Jones, Ci zens Building & Loan. Right, middle: Jeremy Groom, First Reliance Bank and Young Bankers Division board member, with wife Kimberly. Bo om: Tim Koch of USC giving an economic upate. Top le : Wells Dunlap, Countybank and Young Bankers Division board member; Mason Dunlap, Intergrated Financial Solu ons; Young Bankers Division Chairman Blake Taylor, Southern First Bank; Luther Holmes, S.C. Community Bank; and Carter Pearson, BNC Bank and Young Bankers Division board member. 22

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Top, clockwise, from le : Young Bankers Division members a end business session, with Division Chairman Blake Taylor and wife Kieley seated in front. Top right: S.C. Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey. Middle, right: Aaron Meffert, Van v; Jared Polk and Edward Bryant, Enterprise Bank of South Carolina. Bo om: Allison Cranford, second from le , TD Bank and Young Bankers Division board member, with husband Shaun; and Jesse Smith, First Ci zens Bank and Young Bankers Division board member, and wife Ka e. Middle, le : Ed Fisher with Sara Fisher, S.C. Student Loan Corp., and Mary Green with Fred Green, SCBA. Middle: Blake Taylor, Southern First Bank, receives the chairman’s gavel and plaque from last year’s chairman, Glenn Buddin, Countybank. Spring 2017 I Palme o Banker


Execu ve News CBC Na onal Bank Mitchell Smith was recently named execu ve vice president and chief credit officer of CBC Na onal Bank, a subsidiary of Beaufort’s Coastal Banking Co. Smith has 27 years of banking experience, including the past 10 as chief credit officer of a Georgia ins tu on. Community First Bank Seneca-based Community First Bank has hired William P. “Bill” Lackey Jr. as execu ve vice president and chief operating officer. First Reliance Bank First Reliance Bank has appointed J. Munford Sco Jr. as chairman of its board of directors. Sco has served as a director of First Reliance Bank since 2007 and as chairman of the board’s compensa on commi ee. Sco is currently serving as a Florence County probate judge. Before his elec on, Sco was an a orney with Turner, Padget, Graham, & Laney P.A. Sco prac ced tax, probate and estate law in Florence and surrounding coun es for over 40 years. He also served in the

South Carolina House of Representaves for one term in the late 1970s. First Reliance is headquartered in Florence.

Oconee Federal Financial Corp. Oconee Federal Financial Corp. has named John Hobbs senior vice president and chief financial officer of the Sco company and its unit, Oconee Federal Savings and Loan Associa on. Oconee Federal MHC is the ul mate parent of Oconee Federal Financial and Oconee Federal Savings. Oconee Federal Financial Corp. is based in Seneca. United Community Bank United Community Banks Inc. has appointed Jefferson L. Harralson as execu ve vice president and chief financial officer of both the parent company and its banking subsidiary, United Community Bank. Harralson joined Blairsville, Ga.-headquartered United from Keefe, Bruye e and Woods, where he was a managing director.

Save the Date 2017 Young Bankers Division Scholarship Golf Tournament

Columbia County Club October 2, 2017 24

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Bank News Anderson Brothers Bank Anderson Brothers Bank is expanding into the Summerville market. The bank announced plans to open a new fullservice banking branch in Summerville, at 2139 N. Main Street, with a target date for opening of May 1, 2017.

ceeds of about $47.7 million to support growth, it announced. Carolina Financial Corp. recently opened its second branch in Wilmington, N.C.

Anderson Brothers Bank opened a new office in March at the corner of Farrow Parkway and Agnes Lane in Myrtle Beach.

Community First Bancorp The Federal Reserve recently removed the memorandum of understanding it issued with Community First Bancorp, the company reported.

Anderson Brothers Bank is expanding its Conway loca on at 500 Main St. by 1,200 square feet and is also adding parking space to accommodate growth. The bank is also adding an ATM on 3rd Avenue in Conway.

Community First Bank Community First Bank announced plans to open a loan produc on office in Concord, N.C., at 300 McGill Ave. Concord banker Michelle L. Riley has been hired to lead the opera on.

BNC Bancorp Pinnacle Financial Partners Inc. of Nashville and BNC Bancorp of High Point, N.C., announced earlier this year that they had signed a defini ve agreement in which Pinnacle will acquire BNC. BNC, the parent of the Bank of North Carolina, ranked ninth in terms of South Carolina deposits with more than $1.1 billion, as of last June 30. It has 27 Palme o State offices. Pinnacle will operate the two Carolinas and Virginia regions out of BNC’s exis ng corporate headquarters in High Point. BNC President and CEO Rick Callicu will serve as chairman of the la er region once the deal is done.

Countybank Greenwood-based Countybank recently announced the expansion of its branch network into Greer and Anderson. The new offices, located at 103 N. Main Street in Greer and 300 N. Main Street in Anderson, are both scheduled to open in mid-May.

Carolina Financial Corp. Carolina Financial Corp.’s acquisi on of Greer Bancshares Inc. closed in late March. The deal, announced last November, received approval from shareholders of both companies earlier in the month, as well as from the FDIC. The $45 million transac on gives Carolina Financial, the parent of CresCom Bank, three branches in Greer and one in Taylors. Carolina Financial Corp. recently closed an underwri en public offering of 1.8 million common shares at $28 apiece. The company plans to use the net pro-

CresCom Bank CresCom Bank has moved into a new loca on in Sunset Beach, double the size of its previous loca on. The Charlestonheadquartered ins tu on’s new branch is located at 840 Sunset Blvd. North. First Community Corp. First Community Corp. announced in April it would acquire Easley-headquartered Cornerstone Bancorp. The deal will accelerate Lexington-based First Community’s expansion into the Greenville market, giving the parent of First Community Bank offices in Greenville, Easley and Powdersville. Cornerstone has $146 million in assets. Security Federal Corp. Security Federal Corp. has repurchased all 22,000 shares of its series B fixedrate cumula ve perpetual preferred stock from the U.S. Treasury Department for $21.4 million, the company announced.

South Atlan c Bancshares Southern First Bancshares Inc. has filed a shelf registra on for the sale of up to $50 million of its securi es. The capital raise will support the con nued growth and expansion. South Atlan c Bank South Atlan c Bank has applied for permission to open a full-service branch iat 480 East Bay St. in Charleston. Southern First Bancshares Southern First Bancshares Inc. has filed a shelf registra on for the poten al sale of up to $50 million of its securi es from me to me. Net proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes, including repayment of debt, capital expenditures, poten al acquisi ons and investments. South State Corp. South State Corp. recently announced it has approved an increase to 1 million the number of its shares available for repurchase under its stock repurchase program. The program originally authorized the repurchase of up to 250,000 shares of common stock. Synovus Financial Corp. Synovus Financial Corp. is renaming all of its 28 locally-branded divisions, including South Carolina-headquartered NBSC, to one single brand – Synovus. Known for decades as the Na onal Bank of South Carolina, in recent years the S.C. opera on had altered its moniker to “NBSC, a division of Synovus.” The transi on is expected to be completed by the end of this year. Synovus has more than three dozen branches in South Carolina and $3 billion-plus in state deposits. United Community Banks Inc. United Community Banks Inc. and HCSB Financial Corp. have signed a defini ve agreement for United to acquire HCSB and its wholly-owned bank subsidiary, Horry County State Bank. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2017. Spring 2017 I Palme o Banker


Personal Transac ons



Anderson Brothers Bank Stephanie Byrd of Anderson Brothers Bank recently earned cer fica on as CISM (Cer fied Informa on Security Manager) from ISACA (Informa on Systems Audit and Control Associaon). The cer fica on focuses on the required knowledge to recognize cri cal security issues and align compliance, security and data integrity with overall business goals and objec ves. Blue Ridge Bank Lori Comunal has joined Blue Ridge Bank as vice president-branch administra on. Community First Bank Community First Bank has hired Michelle L. Riley as vice president and city execu ve to head its new loan produc on office in Concord, N.C. Countybank Glenn Buddin recently joined Countybank as vice president and Anderson Market execu ve. Countybank has named Rick Danner vice president, business development. Greer also serves as mayor of Greer.

CresCom Bank Ryan Barnes has joined CresCom Bank as a vice president and commercial loan officer for the Columbia market. CresCom Bank has promoted Stacy Cra to the posi on of banking officer and loan-servicing manager. David Whi ield has joined CresCom 26

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Bank as its new vice president and regional loan administra on officer for the Upstate region of South Carolina.

First Community Bank DeeDee Kehl recently joined First Community Bank as market execu ve/vice president for the Newberry community. First Community Bank recently announced that Craig Caldwell and Brandon Caldwell have joined its financial planning and investment advisory division, First Community Financial Consultants, as financial advisors.

Horry County State Bank Horry County State has promoted Jennifer Cox Phipps to branch manager of the ins tu on’s Mt. Olive office. Pee Dee Federal Savings Bank Recently re red Pee Dee Federal Savings Bank President and Chief Execu ve Officer Bill Johnson was recognized by the South Carolina General Assembly in February with a concurrent resolu on recognizing his dedicated service to the residents of Marion County. Johnson spent 35 years with Pee Dee Federal. South Atlan c Bank Tanya Slavin has joined South Atlanc Bank as vice president, director of compliance. Southern First Bancshares Emily Watrous has been named execuve vice president, human resources for Southern First Bancshares, the Greenville-based parent of Southern First Bank.



Southern First Bank John “Fitz” King has joined Southern First Bank as senior vice president-team leader. South State Bank William C. Boche e III, secretary for South State Corp., has been named treasurer. In his new role, Boche e will serve as secretary and treasurer of Columbia-headquartered South State Corp. Pa Byrd has been promoted to private banker at South State Bank’s Broad Street office in Charleston. South State Bank has named Trent Dra s commercial banking vice president at the Charleston Broad Street office. Jesse Dibona has been promoted by South State Bank to senior regional credit administrator at the Charleston Broad Street office. Tiffany Herr has been promoted to branch manager at South State Bank’s Ashley Street office in Charleston. Eliza Lacey has been promoted to branch manager at the Broad Street loca on in Charleston. Raymond Murray has been promoted to community mortgage loan officer by South State Bank. Jessica Stafford has been promoted to branch manager of South State Bank’s Summerville North Main office.

Personal Transac ons




South State Bank has named Larry Windham senior vice president.

compe ons throughout the state over the years.

Spra Savings & Loan Smoke by Day, Fire by Night BBQ, a barbecue team featuring Spra Savings & Loan Senior Vice President and Chief Opera ng Officer Jim Benne , took a second place award March 25 at the sixth annual Commissioner’s Cup BBQ Cook-off and Fes val at the State Farmers Market in West Columbia. Benne ’s team dates back more than a decade and has won a number of awards at

Synovus Financial Corp. Jennifer Blackhurst has been named a senior vice president at Synovus. Blackhurst leads the bank’s Columbia Private Wealth team. The Bank of South Carolina Amy Green Buckner, a CPA, has recently been appointed by the Bank of South Carolina as an assistant vice president and financial repor ng manager.



United Community Bank United Community Bank has added Laura Hodge as a commercial rela onship manager with the ins tu on’s Greenville team. Woodforest Na onal Bank Andrew Rabuck has been promoted to senior vice president of Woodforest Na onal Bank. Rabuck is head of the bank’s South Carolina division, comprised of 32 branches and 185 employees.

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Bankers School

Bankers School Continues to Fulfill Important Mission


he South Carolina Bankers Associa on has educated nearly 2,900 Palme o State bankers since 1961 through one of its premier offerings, the South Carolina Bankers School. More than 140 first-, second- and third-year students are expected at this year’s school, to be held July 9-14 at Lander University. Students will be taught by more than two dozen instructors drawn from McKelvey banks, universies and businesses from around the country. I’m an SCBS graduate myself and serve as the chairman of the school’s board, with many other successful individuals. The board has a number of present Csuite execu ves from around the state, individuals who a ribute the Bankers School with jump-star ng their careers. SCBS students iden fy a number of benefits, including acquiring a be er understanding of the overall scope of their organiza ons and the role of the financial services industry in the na onal economy, along with establishing relaonships with other bankers that will assist them throughout their careers. The South Carolina Bankers School has played an important role in the training and development of bankers throughout our state for many years, said Robert Hill, SCBA chairman and CEO of South State Corp. “South State has sent hundreds of employees through this program over the years and what we hear about most is the rela onships they form with other bankers and the opportunity to be taught by people in the banking industry,” added Hill. “Our company is fortunate to benefit from this quality program and the educa on and industry knowledge our graduates receive.” Classroom educa on culminates in the third year. The BankExec program re-


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quires student teams to work together, making decisions on running a bank and delivering an annual report at the end of their session. Among reasons behind the decadeslong success of the Bankers School is that we annually review both instructors and courses, the la er to ensure they are relevant to the issues facing bankers today in order to ensure a con nua on of the quality of the curriculum. Charles Smits, assistant vice president with BNC Bank, said the benefits of Bankers School go far beyond knowledge gained in the classroom. “The rela onships that are established, fostered and strengthened over the course of the Bankers School experience are invaluable,” he said. “Most o en, those rela onships turn into las ng friendships and I am truly thankful for the opportunity to have been a part of the school.” An added advantage of Bankers School is the money students raise for scholarships. Over the years, tens of thousands

of dollars have been raised by third-year students, money that is awarded to children of employees of SCBA-member banks. Please consider sending bankers in your organiza on who you think would benefit from a greater understanding of how your ins tu on operates and the financial services industry in general to the South Carolina Bankers School. This year’s gradua on ceremony is scheduled for Thursday, July 13. We would enjoy having you a end, par cularly if students from your ins tu on are a ending the school. For more informa on on the S.C. Bankers School, contact SCBA Senior Vice President Carolyn Laffi e at 803.779.0850 or by email at carolynlaffi e@scbankers.org. (Edward McKelvey Jr., an execu ve with South State Bank, is a member of the SCBA board of directors and chairman of S.C. Bankers School’s board of directors.)

Bankers School

LSU Provides Essentials for Professional Advancement


ast year I was nominated to serve a two-year term on the board of the Graduate School of Banking at LSU. It’s a tremendous honor, and one that I take very seriously. I’m a graduate of the LSU Graduate School of Banking and have benefi ed greatly from the knowledge and rela onships gained during my me at the school. The friendships I established at LSU have Taylor con nued and proven helpful in the me since I was at the school. Both the South Carolina Bankers School and LSU are top-notch ins tuons. The difference is that the former is akin to an undergraduate program and the la er, as the name implies, is a gradu-

ate school – an MBA program of sorts, specifically designed for bankers. More than 15,000 execu ves have completed the LSU program, which seeks to ins ll students with a broader understanding of banking func ons. Comple on of graduate banking school programs has become a requisite to professional advancement in many ins tu ons, and execu ves at both mul -billion-dollar financial ins tu ons and community banks have found that the curriculum at the Graduate School of Banking at LSU addresses their varied educa onal needs. LSU’s coursework provides knowledge in a range of banking areas, exper se that o en isn’t available in carrying out everyday responsibili es but is cri cal to understanding how the different parts of an ins tu on work in unison. Although a endance has remained stable at LSU in recent years, the number of students from South Carolina a ending has slipped during the past decade

by about 50 percent. This is unfortunate because while the South Carolina Bankers School offers an excellent educa on for those wan ng to get a solid understanding of financial services, LSU represents the next level of learning, one that can prove crucial for bankers being groomed for C-suite and other high-level posi ons. I encourage you to enlist rising stars within your bank who want to learn more about our profession. As all of you know, the financial services industry is growing increasingly complicated, and the knowledge required to understand how a bank operates expands annually. By sending bankers to the LSU Graduate School of Banking you’ll be making an investment in both your employees and your ins tu on. (Blake G. Taylor is chairman of the SCBA’s Young Bankers Division and a senior vice president at Southern First Bank.)

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Welcome New Associate Members Acumen IT 1 Distribu on Ct. Greer, SC 29650 Contact: W. David Pence Phone: 864.271.9000 Website: www.acumenit.com Email: david.pence@acumenit.com Acumen IT specializes in helping companies automate and integrate business processes and technology to streamline opera ons, work more efficiently, reduce costs and enable growth. Acumen IT’s goal is to help our clients “accelerate their business” by empowering their people to be more produc ve, work more efficiently, have access to the informa on they need to make informed business decisions, accomplish measurable results and take their business to the next level. Offering a unique combina on of industry-leading technology products and professional consul ng services, Acumen IT helps companies of all sizes address their most complex business challenges.

Catawba Regional Development Corp. 215 Hampton St. Rock Hill, SC 29731 Contact: Randy Pellisero Phone: 803.327.9041 Website: www.catawbacog.org Email: rpellisero@catawbacog.org The Catawba Regional Development Corp. is a nonprofit corpora on established to provide supplemental government financing for new or expanding businesses. Its mission is to facilitate growth, expansion and diversifica on of the local economy by providing financial assistance to start-up and expanding businesses by offering a variety of loan programs, including the SBA 504 program, the Revolving Loan Fund Program (an Economic Development Administra on program offered through Catawba Regional Council of Governments) and the Intermediary Relending Program (a U.S. Department 30

Spring 2017 I Palme o Banker

Notification of Non-Renewing S.C. Bankers Association Members The South Carolina Bankers Associa on reports that the following companies are no longer SCBA Associate Members. Please update your lis ngs to reflect these changes. We thank these companies for their past support. The SCBA would welcome each of them to rejoin the Associa on as Associate Members. The non-renewing companies are: • DefenseStorm; • Direct Print and Marke ng; • EDTS, LLC; • Environmental Risk Innova ons; • NYMBUS; of Agriculture program). With these programs the Catawba Regional Development Corp. can provide loans ranging from $50,000 to $5 million. In addi on, the Development Corpora on also oversees a Brownfields program specifically structured to provide funding for the redevelopment of proper es which may be inhibited by the presence of hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminates.

Piper Jaffray & Co. 800 Nicollet Mall, Suite 1000 Minneapolis, MN 55402 Contact: Jason R. Mork Phone: 800.333.6000 Website: www.piperjaffray.com Email: jason.r.mork@pjc.com We provide comprehensive fixed income investment solu ons through working closely with our clients to define their investment parameters and liquidity needs, and then develop innova ve and customized por olio solu ons to meet their dis nc ve requirements. Our disciplined approach emphasizes capital preserva on, liquidity and yield. This approach serves as the founda on for the tac cal and strategic investment deci-

• The NBS Group; and • Triumph Mortgage. SCBA Services Inc. is dedicated to reducing the costs of products and services for South Carolina banks. To find out more about SCBA Associate Membership or to become a Preferred Vendor, please contact SCBA Senior Vice President Carolyn Laffi e at 803.779.0850 or through email at carolynlaffi e@scbankers.org. sions of our team. We are commi ed to providing an integrated end-to-end solu on by: • Iden fying the needs, parameters and liquidity constraints for the investable funds; • Evalua ng suitable investments using rela ve-value analysis; • Execu ng the appropriate investment strategy while employing compara ve and compe ve bidding to ensure advantageous pricing; and • Maintaining constant dialogue with clients to ensure that any material changes in their investment parameters are immediately implemented.

SouthStar Capital 900 Wando Park Blvd. Mt. Pleasant, SC 29646 Contact: Rutledge Banker Phone: 800.763.3021 Website: www.southstarcapital.com Email: rbaker@southstarholdings.com SouthStar Capital is a na onwide commercial finance company headquartered in Mount Pleasant. We provide working capital lines of credit from $50,000 to $10 million. We offer non-tradi onal financing to businesses

Welcome New Associate Members that may not qualify for bank financing, are in growth mode, are new in business or may have a poor credit history or weak balance sheet. SouthStar provides the interim working capital needed to grow your client’s business, un l they are fiscally able to return to you for bank financing. Our products include accounts receivable financing, assetbased lending, purchase order financing, equipment leasing, government contract financing, invoice factoring, mobiliza on funding and payroll funding. By having a diverse-product mix, we can provide a custom-financing solu on that supports both the current and future growth of your client’s business.

The James Paul Group, Inc. 7725 Wentworth Dr. Duluth, GA 30097 Contact: Chris DiLorenzo Phone: 678.907.4608 Website: www.jamespaulgroup.com

Email: cdilorenzo@jamespaulgroup.com The James Paul Group specializes in providing solu ons to the key challenges facing financial ins tu ons today in a rac ng, engaging, conver ng and expanding customer rela onships. They are skilled in delivering effec ve training and consul ng solu ons that give their bank clients the compe ve edge required to achieve and sustain op mal profitability. Proven solu ons include employee training (sales/customer service/coaching and leadership/product knowledge), surveys, mystery shops, strategic planning, human resources and marke ng consul ng, and bank-culture transforma on. For a complimentary analysis of how your bank compares to its peers, please contact Chris DiLorenzo, 678.907.4608 or by email at cdilorenzo@ jamespaulgroup.com.

Visible Equity 2890 E. Co onwood Pkwy, Ste. 225 Salt Lake City, UT 84121 Contact: Jonathan Peña Phone: 888.409.1560 Website: www.visibleequity.com Email: jonathan.pena@visibleequity.com Visible Equity is an analy cs and data warehousing company that helps financial ins tu ons iden fy, measure and monitor risks and opportuni es. Our so ware combines loan, applica on, deposit, marke ng and customer data with advanced analytics to assist each ins tu on in making well-informed, data-driven decisions. Products include loan por olio analy cs, allowance for credit loss (CECL), applicaon analy cs, deposit analy cs, customer/marke ng analy cs, fair lending and peer analy cs.

The Banker Suite Looking for New Non-Interest Fee Income?

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Schedule a Presentation Today. Jason Pruitt | jpruitt@crsdata.com 770.883.6609 | crsdata.com/banking ©2016 CRS, Courthouse Retrieval Systems. All Rights Reserved. The Banker Suite is property of CRS Data, Inc.

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It’s Not Just a Building...

It’s Home. Community Investment Corporation of the Carolinas is a lending consortium of more than 100 southeastern financial institutions, working together to provide permanent financing that supports the development of high-quality affordable multifamily housing in the Carolinas, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. Since 1990, CICCAR members have funded more than $275 million in loans, creating 17,000 units in over 300 properties. In return, they receive the benefits of loan growth, CRA credit and the satisfaction of creating “home” for nearly 50,000 people. Call today to learn more about the ways that membership in CICCAR can benefit your bank and the communities you serve.

Community Investment Corporation of the Carolinas P.O. Box 19999, Raleigh, NC 27619 Toll free: (800) 662-7044 Local: (919) 781-7979 www.ncbankers.org/CICCAR


South Carolina Bankers Association Education Calendar May 2017 Asset Liability Conference Date: May 3, 2017 Loca on: Inn @ USC Wyndham Gardens Columbia, S.C.

October 2017 Young Bankers Scholarship Golf Tournament Date: Oct. 2, 2017 Loca on: Columbia Country Club Blythewood, S.C.

Special Assets Workshop Date: May 11, 2017 Loca on: Inn @ USC Wyndham Gardens Columbia, S.C.

SCBA and NCBA Women in Banking Symposium Date: TBA Loca on: Charlo e, N.C.

Spring Compliance Conference Date: May 22-23, 2017 Loca on: Marrio Hampton, Main @ Hampton sts. Columbia, S.C. June 2017 SCBA Annual Conven on Date: June 8-11, 2017 Loca on: The Ritz-Carlton Naples, Fla.

Community Bankers Forum Date: TBA Loca on: Columbia, S.C. November 2017 Credit Conference Date: TBA Loca on: TBA Economic Development Conference Date: TBA Loca on: TBA

HMDA Conference Date: June 22, 2017 Loca on: Marrio Hotel, Main @ Hampton streets Columbia, S.C. July 2017 South Carolina Bankers School Date: July 9-14, 2017 Loca on: Lander University Greenwood, S.C. September 2017 Call Report Seminar Date: TBA Loca on: Columbia, S.C.

For more informa on, contact Anne Gillespie by phone at 803.779.0850, or by email at agillespie@scbankers.org.

Consumer Lending School Date: TBA Loca on: Columbia, S.C. Bank Security Conference Date: TBA Loca on: Columbia, S.C.

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Good Samaritans Anderson Brothers Bank Anderson Brothers Bank par cipated in Whi emore Park Middle School’s annual Career Day held Feb. 2. The Career Day consisted of guest speakers from a variety of backgrounds, with four 30-minute sessions for each to speak to the students. Jennifer Grooms, Anderson Brothers Bank social media marketing officer, along with Gray Meridith, a bank loan officer, spoke with classes on banking careers and gave details of the path their careers have taken them. Meridith provided insight into financial careers and the importance of banks to the students’ future. The students also were given an opportunity to learn from Grooms about the importance of marke ng for all businesses, including banks.

based program uses the latest in new media technology – simula ons, gaming and adap ve-pathing – to bring complex financial concepts to life for today’s digital genera on.

South State Bank South State Bank recently announced it will contribute $125,000 to the Interna onal African American Museum, which will recognize and honor the role Gadsden’s Wharf played in the history of interna onal slave trade. Gadsden’s Wharf is an historic site in Charleston and the museum will func on as a center of learning, explora on and connec on that is culturally significant to all Americans. Construc on on the 40,000-squarefoot museum is due to being this year, with an an cipated comple on in the fall of 2019. The museum is es mated to cost around $75 million and will be financed with both public and private funds. Charleston was the major port for instate slave trading when interna onal slave trading con nued domes cally after being banned by the United States in

1808. Gadsden’s Wharf was the primary auc on site due to South Carolina’s thriving rice produc on. According to the Interna onal African American Museum, 80 percent of African Americans can trace their ancestors to the wharf, with 48 percent of enslaved Americans entering through the site.

Wells Fargo Wells Fargo donated $4.3 million to nonprofits in South Carolina in 2016 and Palme o State team members logged 32,800 volunteer hours during the year. As a company, the bank donated $281.3 million to nonprofits last year, while team members donated $98.87 million to nonprofits.

Ronald McDonald House Chari es of the Carolinas recently received a Anderson Brothers Bank had its $50,000 gi from Wells Fargo toward its annual Blood Drive earlier this year, “Building Hope” Capital Campaign exand bank employees and community pansion. The gi will help RMHC of the members joined together to make the Carolinas expand its current program of drive a success. The Red Cross saw 30 one House in Greenville to an expanded donors and was able collect 20 units of home, serving 24 total families, ul whole blood, with four donors able to mately allowing them to be nearby their donate double reds, for the grand total cri cally ill or injured child receiving of 28 units. The double treatment at a medical reds are especially facility. beneficial because Ronald McDonald those blood dona ons House Chari es of the can go directly to the Carolinas broke ground hospital to start saving on its $3.5 million capilives immediately. The tal campaign expantotal represented an sion project in April of increase of more than 2016. The expansion 20 percent from last will allow the Ronald year’s blood drive. McDonald House to double the amount Anderson Brothof families it currently ers Bank recently serves by adding an launched its Le Tour addi onal 12 guest de Finance, a financial bedrooms. The 17,500 educa on and literacy square foot expansion program, at Kingstree will connect to the Middle School. Ancurrent House located derson Brothers Bank at 706 Grove Road, dipartnered with EverFi rectly across the street to bring the program from Greenville Health to local students at System Children’s Le to Right: Susan Bankson-Wells Fargo; Mar Spencer, Ronald McDonald no cost to schools or House; Kate Venuto, Ronald McDonald House; and Brian Rogers, Wells Fargo, Hospital and Memorial taxpayers. The webHospital. during Wells Fargo check presenta on. 34

Spring 2017 I Palme o Banker

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South Carolina Bankers Associa on (2009 Park Street) Post OďŹƒce Box 1483 Columbia, South Carolina, 29202-1483

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Palmetto Banker Spring 2017  

Palmetto Banker Spring 2017  

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