The Bank Slate


Simmons in Arkansas forms equipment-finance division

Simmons First National in Little Rock, Ark., has created an equipment finance division after hiring 11 commercial bankers.

The $23.4 billion-asset company said in a press release Tuesday that Lee Palm will serve as president of the new division. Palm previously served as president of commercial finance at TCF Financial.
Brian Shapiro, another former TCF banker, will serve as managing director in charge of Simmons’ transportation and marine business.

TCF was sold to Huntington Bancshares in June.

Phil Mulder joined Simmons as the unit’s head of credit and risk. He previously worked at Citizens Financial Group.

The division will largely focus on business aviation, OTR trucking, franchise finance, marine financing, and a specialized buy/sell desk function.

“Being able to add an entire team with the expertise and skillset that encompasses all of the business verticals necessary to begin operations represents a unique ‘plug and play’ opportunity that will allow us to immediately hit the ground running,” Matt Reddin, Simmons’ chief banking officer, said in the release.

“Equally important, we’ll be able to offer our commercial finance customers a deeper banking relationship with access to our full array of complementary commercial banking and wealth management products and services,” Reddin added.

Simmons has announced a couple of acquisitions recently, agreeing in June to buy Triumph Bancshares in Memphis, Tenn., for $132 million and Landmark Community Bank in Collierville, Tenn., for $146 million. Those deals are expected to close in the fourth quarter.

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