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VOL. 126 | NO. 65 | Monday, April 4, 2011

Argent Financial Strengthens Memphis Ties

By Andy Meek

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It’s been almost a year since Louisiana-based Argent Financial Group, a diversified financial services company with more than $3 billion in client assets, opened a Memphis office.

Since then, the company has incrementally deepened its ties to the city with moves that include signing a five-year lease at The Crescent Center last spring.

The latest step toward a further anchoring in Memphis is a big move that also expands Argent’s financial service offerings. Argent has acquired Sector Capital Management LLC of Memphis, a company founded in 1995 that has about $100 million in assets.

“This acquisition further demonstrates Argent’s commitment to the Memphis market,” said Argent Financial Group Chief Executive Officer Kyle McDonald in a prepared statement about the acquisition. “The addition of the high-caliber team from Sector deepens our capacity to provide the quality professional financial services that are the foundation of Argent.”

Sector will soon be moving its Memphis office under the same roof as Argent at the Crescent Center, 6075 Poplar Avenue, Suite 702.

Sector Capital Management provides institutional and high net worth individual money management services in Memphis and throughout the U.S. According to its website, the company puts a premium on a high level of attention to clients and making its key professionals readily accessible.

Prior to founding Sector Capital, the company’s CEO Bill Gurner was the manager of trust investment at FedEx, where he directed the investment of $3 billion in employee benefit assets.

Today, the company’s management team represents more than 100 years of collective investment experience. That experience includes managing equity accounts for corporations, retirement funds, foundations, Taft Hartley trusts, endowments and insurance companies.

“Professionally and culturally, this merger represents a wonderful growth opportunity for both companies,” Gurner said. “Becoming part of the Argent family provides Sector with the financial strength and integrity of a regional company responsible for approximately $3 billion in client assets, and Sector provides Argent entry into an additional line of business and expanded financial offerings.”

Sector will still operate in Memphis as a Registered Investment Advisor under its existing name. All Sector personnel including Gurner and President and Chief Investment Officer Reed Walters will continue in their current positions.

The combination means Sector will bring an expanded line of financial services to Argent, including institutional equity money management. Argent will provide Sector new resources and assets to manage, in addition to back office, marketing and distribution support.

The acquisition underscores the growth track Argent is on. The entry last year of Argent, one of the region’s oldest full-service independent trust and financial service companies, into Memphis included acquiring Memphis-based Investment Counsel and Trust Co.

Argent also hired several financial professionals from Regions Morgan Keegan Trust.

With headquarters in Ruston, La., Argent Financial Group has been operating since 1990. Its business lines offer a range of financial products and services – trust, advisory and fiduciary consulting services, to name a few.

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