TUPELO – Aubrey Patterson, whose career at BancorpSouth spans more than four decades, is retiring as chairman next month.
The Tupelo-based financial holding company announced the move Wednesday afternoon. Patterson will step down at the shareholders meeting April 23.
Patterson, who has been chairman since 1991, joined the then-Bank of Mississippi in 1972. He was named chief executive officer in 1990.
He retired as CEO in November 2012, after his successor, Dan Rollins was named to fill the post.
Rollins has been designated as the next chairman, and Patterson will serve as chairman emeritus.
“Aubrey’s guidance, wise counsel and efforts to ensure a smooth and seamless transition upon his retirement as CEO, and during his term on the board, have been invaluable to our company and to me personally,” Rollins said in a statement.
Under Patterson’s leadership, BancorpSouth grew from a Tupelo-based bank with about $100 million in assets to an eight-state, 300-location financial holding company with $13 billion in assets.
When he was named president and chief operating officer for Bank of Mississippi – BancorpSouth’s predecessor – in 1983, the company had about $500 million in assets. Four years later, when a new statewide banking law was approved, the company became Mississippi’s first statewide bank with a merger with First Mississippi National Bank.
Hassell Franklin, BancorpSouth’s lead director and chairman of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee, said, “We thank Aubrey for his valued leadership and for his efforts to ensure a successful management transition. BancorpSouth has benefited tremendously from his values, character and business acumen, and we owe him a great deal of thanks and gratitude.”
Patterson praised Franklin and the board for its selecting Rollins to succeed him.
“Dan and his team have made significant progress in moving our great company forward during his first year as CEO, and we are already seeing meaningful results,” he said. “Although the management transition has been successfully completed, I look forward to continuing to assist Dan and the BancorpSouth team in any way possible.”