Triumph Bank Meeting To Highlight Banner Year

By Andy Meek

Triumph Bank is holding its annual meeting next month in a locale that’s different from the traditional conference room setting where banks tend to make their yearly presentation to shareholders.

CHASE

Triumph’s April 24 annual shareholder meeting will be at the James Lee House, the historic Downtown property for which Triumph provided a construction and rehabilitation loan as part of its redevelopment. Triumph president and CEO Will Chase said the bank wanted to do something “totally different” this time around and thought it would be worthwhile to let shareholders and customers get a firsthand look at what Triumph is doing in the community.

In that setting, attendees also will get to take stock of another banner year for Triumph, during which the bank saw $3.4 million in net income, up from a little more than $2.1 million at year-end 2012. During the fourth quarter, loans and deposits were up more than $40 million each at Triumph, but Chase said the bank would like its loan growth to be even faster.

“Our profitability and growth was quite good last year,” Chase said. “We just tried to manage the growth and expense as best we could, and it all turned out kind of OK.”

Looking to the future, he said the bank would like to expand its local branch network. He said Triumph has some general areas staked out but hasn’t yet found the right location.

“The issue in opening traditional banking offices is it’s probably going to have a different cost structure and technology platform than what we see today,” Chase said. “We’ve been very cautious about going out and taking on an additional 4,000-square-foot bank office with a teller row and six work areas. That’s not the model going forward, and that’s what we’re trying to figure out.”

Among the highlights for Triumph in 2013, the bank acquired the mortgage division of Merchants & Planters Bank, a Collierville-based mortgage lender with offices also in East Memphis and Little Rock, Ark.

That effectively quadrupled Triumph’s mortgage staff in one fell swoop.

At the end of the fourth quarter, Triumph’s assets stood at nearly $437 million, up from almost $400 million at the end of fourth quarter 2012.

The bank is still focused on a goal of doubling its size in the next few years. Triumph was founded in 2006, at a time when banks around Memphis were being swallowed up by larger out-of-town financial services institutions, and the founders wanted Triumph to become known as a strong, local bank.

Chase told The Daily News in 2012 the board took stock of its growth from day one up to that point and decided to press the accelerator. In 2012, the bank completed a capital raise that brought in a little more than $12 million, and Triumph continues to enjoy a long, unbroken string of quarterly profitability.

“Our board, we sat down and said we went from zero to $350 million in roughly five years, and let’s just do it again,” Chase said.

The banking business, he went on, is not a complicated one when it’s regarded at its fundamental level. Generally speaking, banks try to lend money for more than their cost of doing business.

“Just managing risk, that’s what we do every day,” Chase said.