Arvest Tops List of Trust Departments

by Gwen Moritz  on Monday, Oct. 14, 2013 12:00 am  

This week, Arkansas Business presents three industry lists with the common theme of wealth management: broker-dealers, money managers and trust departments.

As usual, the Stephens name dominates the first two. But for the first time since we introduced the trust departments list in 2009, Simmons First Trust Co. is not at the top. Instead, perennial No. 2 Arvest Trust Co. used a 10.4 percent increase in assets under management to overtake Simmons, which saw its assets under management decline by 6.65 percent.

All trust department figures are from Dec. 31, 2012, when Arvest’s assets under management — the total of managed, non-managed and custody assets — finished just a hair under $2.5 billion.

Simmons, which was at $2.4 billion at the end of 2011, dropped to $2.25 billion, which was still greater than $1 billion more than the assets under management at No. 3 Bank of the Ozarks.

Simmons will gain some trust assets when it completes its bankruptcy court-approved acquisition of Metropolitan National Bank of Little Rock later this year. Metropolitan ranked No. 8 on this week’s trust department list with $366 million in assets under management at the end of 2012, but it is required to report that information only once a year, so a more recent total was not available. It had seen considerable runoff in recent years anyway, down 36 percent in 2012 after a decline of nearly 20 percent in 2011.

Bank of the Ozarks enjoyed growth in its managed assets of more than 19 percent during 2012, putting its total at $1.2 billion. But other trust departments also rode the positive investment market to new highs in 2012, including Delta Trust & Bank, which followed 65 percent growth in 2011 with 35 percent growth in 2012 and rose from No. 7 on last year’s list to No. 4 this week.


Stephens’ number of licensed agents in Arkansas, however, slipped to 320. At this time last year, it reported 345 agents.

Ten of the 13 firms on the list that responded to the survey reported a slight decline in the number of registered representatives. Two of the firms, Wells Fargo Advisors of St. Louis and Ameriprise Financial Services Inc. of Minneapolis, didn’t respond to requests for the number of agents, so Arkansas Business used the numbers they supplied last year.

Other firms that reported losing registered representatives were Edward Jones of St. Louis, which saw its number of registered reps slide from 173 to 166. It remained in the No. 2 position.

And Crews & Associates Inc. of Little Rock reported its number of registered reps dropped from 164 to 158. But it didn’t leave the No. 3 slot.

Morgan Stanley Wealth Management of New York reported a slight increase in the number of reps it had at 81, which was up from 77 last year.



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