Argent Opens Trust Office in Nashville

By Andy Meek

It’s been a few years now since Louisiana-based Argent Financial Group, a diversified financial services company responsible for more than $3 billion in client assets, arrived in Memphis.

Since then, Argent has solidified its ties to the city. Now, it’s grown beyond Memphis deeper into the state.

The company has expanded to Nashville, announcing this week the opening of a new office there that will house 4 employees. Three of them are new hires announced Monday, April 2.

Two of the new additions are part of Argent subsidiary Argent Trust Co. of Tennessee. Howard Safer joins Argent Trust as its CEO and as a member of its board of directors. And Mindy Hirt joins Argent Trust as vice president and wealth advisor.

Safer joins James “Jamie” Jones as local Nashville board members of Argent Trust Co. of Tennessee.

Frank Hosse, meanwhile, will serve as senior investment strategist with another Argent subsidiary, Argent Sector Capital Management.

“We found a group of professionals who want to provide true, independent advice to their customers and who like our model,” said George Pappas, president and senior trust officer for Argent Trust Co. of Tennessee. “And they believe the Nashville market is ready for that kind of approach.”

It’s the latest move in what’s been a pattern of growth moves by Argent almost every year since acquiring Memphis-based Investment Counsel and Trust Co. in 2009, renaming it Argent Trust Co. of Tennessee and adding experienced local professionals to the staff.

The company has made a host of other moves. In 2010, Argent signed a five-year lease at The Crescent Center.

In 2011, Argent announced its acquisition of Sector Capital Management LLC, a company founded in 1995. Sector retained its full team, and the group expanded recently when other Argent portfolio management professionals joined them.

The current entity, Argent Sector Capital Management, is now responsible for managing more than $1 billion in discretionary assets.

And now Nashville, according to Argent Financial Group CEO Kyle McDonald, was the next logical strategic step beyond Memphis.

In a prepared statement about the expansion, McDonald said, “We considered a variety of local opportunities and believe that we have attracted a great team led by Howard Safer. His reputation in this market and in our industry is unsurpassed.”