In an announcement to stockholders this week, Wilson Bank & Trust made official its plans to remain an independent bank for the foreseeable future, and also laid out the beginnings of a leadership succession strategy to see those plans through.
During the bank’s annual stockholder picnic Tuesday, Chairman and CEO Randall Clemons outlined portions of a 25-year plan that involves filling executive leadership roles, maintaining stability and preparing for more potential growth during the next several years at the Lebanon-based financial institution, which opened in 1987.
“At a time when many financial providers are discussing mergers and sales, we’re pleased to be able to give our shareholders an assurance for our bank’s future as an independent institution,” Clemons said. “With our advantageous size, a strong capital base and recent earnings that have been the highest in our history, we are in a good position to meet expanding regulatory requirements and remain independent for a long time to come.”
An executive succession plan is a key part of the bank’s expectations for maintaining its independent status. Clemons announced bank President Elmer Richerson will retire at the end of 2017, and his own retirement will follow in 2019. Executive Vice President John McDearman will succeed both in their respective positions, and the future president who will serve along with McDearman will be named by December 2016.
Both Clemons and Richerson will remain on the bank’s board of directors upon retiring, and Clemons said the board is another area where planning is taking place. Those plans include adding new directors in the future to expand the board and represent more parts of the bank’s service area.
All the aforementioned objectives are part of a long-term plan to set the course for the bank’s next quarter century.
“With great employees and shareholders, and a strong market for our stock, the future looks bright,” Clemons said. “Our bank has a great history and a tradition of service to our communities, and we’re very fortunate that we can keep making our own way and following the values that define Wilson Bank for our customers.”
Wilson Bank & Trust currently operates 25 full-service offices in seven Middle Tennessee counties, offering a full range of financial products that include secondary market mortgage loans and online banking services.