Cadence CEO to retire after bank's sale

By Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal

Longtime Cadence Chairman and CEO Lewis Mallory will retire in two weeks, the bank said today.

Highlights from the press release:

• Cadence Chairman and CEO L.F. Mallory Jr. to retire/resign first week of March

• Lewis Mallory has been CEO of Cadence since 1978.

• Mark Abernathy, the company’s current president, will be CEO after Mallory retires.

• Paul B. Murphy Jr., the president of the firm that is buying Cadence, will be chairman of Cadence’s board.

• Cadence agreed to the buyout with Community Bancorp LLC of Houston, Texas, in October. Cadence had backed out of an agreement to be bought by Trustmark Bank.

Under the agreement, shareholders will receive $2.50 i case per Cadence common share.

Excerpts from the press release:

STARKVILLE, Miss. — Cadence Financial Corporation, the parent company of Cadence Bank, N.A., today announced that L.F. Mallory, Jr. plans to retire as Chairman and CEO effective immediately following the consummation of the sale of the Company to Community Bancorp LLC through a merger transaction.

Following Mr. Mallory’s retirement, Mark Abernathy, the Company’s President, is expected to be elected CEO and Paul B. Murphy, Jr., CBC’s President, is expected to be elected Chairman of the Board of Cadence Financial Corporation.

The merger transaction is expected to close the first week in March 2011.

Lewis Mallory has served as CEO of Cadence since 1978.

During his tenure as CEO, the bank grew from approximately $100 million in assets to over $2.0 billion and expanded from its home market in northeast Mississippi to markets in Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia and Florida. He joined National Bank of Commerce, the predecessor of Cadence Bank, in 1965 following his graduation from Mississippi State University. He was named President in 1974, CEO in 1978 and promoted to Chairman and CEO in 1993.

“I am also pleased that Mark Abernathy will be named CEO of Cadence upon my retirement,” Mallory said. “He joined Cadence 16 years ago, and he succeeded me as President and Chief Operating Officer of the bank after four years on the job. He has grown in that role over the years and has been a key member of our team.

“My retirement conforms to plans our Board put into place three years ago,” stated Mallory. “I am extremely gratified that Mark and Paul will lead Cadence in the future. With the expected injection of over $100 million of new capital into Cadence by CBC and fresh, new leadership headed by Mark and Paul, I believe Cadence will continue its strong support of its customers and communities,” concluded Mr. Mallory.

“Following the close of our transaction, Cadence will continue with its existing name, charter and employee team to serve its customers across the Company’s five-state market. I am proud to continue the 124-year old banking heritage and traditions of Cadence Bank,” concluded Mr. Murphy.

Read more: – entry Cadence CEO to retire after bank s sale

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