BY: S. BOND PAYNE
Vice Chairman, Corporate Development, Argent Financial Group
Chairman, Argent Trust Company of Oklahoma
Chief Executive Officer, Heritage Wealth Management
The official history of Helmerich & Payne (H&P) recounts the beginning of a model partnership and friendship that began in 1920. The company describes on its website how two different but ambitious individuals launched a leading energy business nearly 100 years ago:
“Walter ‘Walt’ Helmerich II – an outgoing, adventure-loving barnstormer from Chicago and William ‘Bill’ Payne – a quiet, hard-working microbiologist from Shawnee, Oklahoma: From this unlikely pairing was born a deep friendship and the oil and gas drilling company that still bears their names.”
This legendary partnership lasted a lifetime, and eventually passed to the next generation. Mr. Helmerich’s son, Walt Helmerich III, and Bill Payne, my “Papa,” served together as directors of the Liberty National Bank & Trust Company, one of Oklahoma’s great financial institutions and another successful partnership between Oklahoma City and Tulsa. And because of its strength and support at both ends of the turnpike, Liberty was one of the few Oklahoma banks to survive the 1980s oil bust.
Liberty’s trust department gave birth to Heritage Trust Company when, after the bank sold to an out-of-state financial institution, some of its trust customers and trust officers came together to form a locally owned and operated, independent trust company. That vision and tradition remain strong today.
AmeriTrust of Tulsa shares a similar tradition, having been born out of a big bank trust department and enduring a series of mergers in the 1990’s before forming AmeriTrust in 1997. J. Harvie Roe, AmeriTrust CEO is a true pioneer in the trust and financial planning business, and his steadfast commitment to his clients made AmeriTrust a model for the industry.
So it seemed perfectly natural for Heritage and AmeriTrust to join together in 2018, forming a new Oklahoma partnership. The two companies represent hundreds of Oklahoma families and administer more than $3 billion in financial assets, mineral interests, farm & ranch properties and closely held businesses on their behalf. It is a partnership that has deep roots in Oklahoma history, represents our state’s two largest cities and will serve the next generation of Oklahomans wherever they may go.
We look forward to working together, growing together and serving Oklahoma together for generations to come. How can we serve you and your family?
Argent Trust Company of Oklahoma, Heritage Trust and AmeriTrust are divisions of Argent Financial Group.