Simmons Bank's Marty Nay charts DFW's path to growth – Dallas Business Journal – Dallas Business Journal

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Simmons Bank is targeting middle market and small business loans in Dallas-Fort Worth as its new market leader charts a path to growth.
Marty Nay, who was appointed to lead the bank’s local operations in July, said Simmons will build its local presence through new hires, expanded client relationships and beefed up middle market and small business loans. 
“DFW is one of the most dynamic banking markets in the country, if not the most dynamic banking market,” Nay said. “In terms of its growth and its pro-business environment, that was a huge appeal. If you just look at the people and companies that are flocking to Texas, it really makes it pretty fun and exciting to work on the banking side with that.”
Nay spent the last five years building Simmons’ Kansas City market, and said North Texas is a competitive banking environment that will need a tailored approach. The plan isn’t magic, he said, and is focused on creating trust and interacting with clients.
The Pine Bluff, Ark.-based company expanded into Texas about four years ago, growing to its current $2.8 billion in loans and $1.6 billion in deposits. Nay plans to add about four or five new local bankers to the current 11-person workforce over the next two years, primarily for the commercial and industrial team.
DFW is the top division for loan creation across Simmons’ regions, and is about 40% larger than the next-highest loan-producing region, according to its second quarter investor presentation. 
The local leader said he’s focused on diversifying the bank’s loan portfolio, about 80% of which is real estate. The other 20% is in the middle market and small business industries, which Nay said he’d like to shift to be about one-third. He added he’s working with recently-appointed Head of Consumer Business Banking Joe DiNicolantonio to ramp up Simmons’ small and middle market sectors. 
Simmons will always have deep roots as a commercial real estate bank, Nay said, but the small and middle market business provides a different opportunity. Commercial real estate loans are on a shorter cycle and frequently replaced. Small and middle market business loans are on a longer timeline. Nay added those businesses also tend to use more products across the bank, such as deposit, treasury, management and credit card, which helps grow non-interest income. 
The bank isn’t industry-specific in the loans it’s targeting, but Nay said Simmons looks for businesses where it can build relationships.
“We don’t typically cast a broad net and look for every transaction we can find,” Nay said. “Let’s go into our key relationships and deepen them and execute well for them. And we’ve done the last couple months.”
The bank has recently completed about half a dozen deals with existing customers, Nay said.
Simmons, a subsidiary of Simmons First National Corporation, has a strong history of inorganic growth, with 11 bank acquisitions since 2013. Nay said the bank will look at opportunities in North Texas for deals. 
The $23.4-billion-asset company operates across Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Kansas.
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