Stephens Holds Lead in Finance Management

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, Sep. 26, 2011 12:00 am  

He said St. Bernard always was looking for more brokers.

"We'd hired advisers as fast as we could hire them," he said. But it's hard to find people because the firm pays stockbrokers on commission. 

"We don't hire people off the street and train them like a lot of big firms do," Keenan said.

The number of registered representatives for Ameriprise Financial Services Inc. of Minneapolis and Arvest Asset Management of Lowell was listed as the same as last year because they didn't respond to several requests for information.

Trust Departments
The top six trust departments on this year's list remained in the same position as last year.

One of the biggest movers is Evolve Bank & Trust of West Memphis, which jumped from No. 12 on last year's list to No. 8 this year. Its trust assets increased 131.26 percent to $300.6 million at the end of 2010 compared with 2009. 

Two other firms had more than 100 percent increases in total trust assets, Merchants & Planters Bank at Newport and Southern Bancorp Bank in Arkadelphia.

The assets for trust departments can vary widely, said Joe Clement, president of Simmons First Trust Co.

"What happens is you're doing bond issues that are continually opening and closing," he said. "So you might do a new bond issue and you might get $50 million of bond proceeds. And then that money might get spent over a two-year period."

Clement said Simmons keeps an eye on the number of accounts it has as an indicator of its health, because the trust asset balances "change every month."



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