Simmons First National Vows to Stay in Pine Bluff


Simmons First National Corp. of Pine Bluff is committed to Pine Bluff.

Shortly after Simmons announced last week that George Makris would succeed J. Thomas May as chairman and CEO of the bank company after May retires on Dec. 31, 2013, bank watchers wondered if Makris would pack the company’s headquarters and move it out of Jefferson County.

“We’ve been in Pine Bluff for 109 years and that’s worked pretty well for us,” Makris told Whispers. “We have every intention of keeping our headquarters in Pine Bluff.”

May said that when Simmons officials were looking for his replacement, a commitment to Pine Bluff wasn’t what was being considered.

“When we started this process to choose my successor, it was really all about the individual, … who had the talent, the knowledge and the experience. That’s exactly how George was selected,” May said. “It had nothing to do with keeping the headquarters in a particular place.”