One of the largest wealth management firms in the South significantly expands its presence in Alabama
Contact: Brooks Campany
Argent Financial Group, Inc.
Birmingham, Alabama – Argent Financial Group is significantly enlarging its presence in Birmingham with its announcement today that it has established here a new, internal Trust Operations Center, hired the operations center’s core staff and is in the process of more than doubling its office space.
“Birmingham has one of the strongest economies in the region, and we’re excited to be a part of the city’s continuing growth. By establishing our Trust Operations Center here, we’re making a long‐term commitment in Birmingham as a key market for our industry,” said Ken Alderman, president of Argent Trust. “Argent is committed to the Birmingham-area market and supports Junior Achievement of Alabama, the Business Council of Alabama, the Red Mountain Theatre Company and the Estate Planning Council.”
Charles Wade, chief operating officer of Argent Financial Group, has managed the effort to open the new Birmingham operations center. Trust Operations Manager David Sides and Investment Operations Manager Matt Bankston are leading the day-to‐day operations of the team. Bankston will manage a three-person investment operations unit based in Ruston, Louisiana.
“David is a true operations expert. His task has been to assemble the Trust Operations Center from the ground up, and he’s done a wonderful job of it,” Wade said. “Matt will be in charge of investment operations, a separate unit co-equal in importance, which will be key to us handling and trading client assets while being responsive to Argent’s investment professionals.”
Argent’s Birmingham office originally opened in September 2016 with three people serving in a client-facing, wealth management capacity. At the time, it marked the 24th market of Argent Financial Group’s current network of 25 markets, which span across the South.
With the addition of the internal Trust Operations team, the Birmingham office now has 13 professionals on staff, with plans to hire an additional staff member. Argent also plans to hire a Market President for the office’s client‐facing side, in addition to other client advisors and investment personnel. Argent Trust Company President Ken Alderman currently holds the dual role of Market President.
The Trust Operations Center will initially manage back-office responsibilities for Argent Trust Company (Tennessee). Clients of Argent Trust Company (Texas) and Oklahoma City‐based Heritage Trust Company, an Argent subsidiary, will switch over in the coming months, with completion expected by the end of 2018.
A back office accounts for client assets, including stocks, bonds, cash and real estate. Its responsibilities include issuing client statements, completing distributions, paying fees and expenses, and settling the purchase or sale of securities. Previously, these functions were managed for Argent by an external partner. Bringing these responsibilities in-house allow for greater efficiency, flexibility and cost reductions for the company.
As part of the conversion, financial data for Argent’s clients will be migrated from three legacy trust accounting systems into one centralized system with specialized, state‐of‐the‐art software.
“We’re continually trying to improve the level of service that we deliver to our clients. We view this as an investment that allows us to really be in control of client service and guarantee a consistently high level of quality in our back office,” Alderman said.
Argent’s Birmingham office currently operates in its original 2,500-square-foot space, but the company is negotiating a move to a new, 6,500-square-foot location.
About Argent Financial Group
Argent Financial Group, domiciled in Ruston, Louisiana, was formed in 1990 and traces its roots to 1930. Responsible for more than $16 billion in client assets, Argent Financial Group provides individuals, families, institutions and businesses with a broad range of wealth management services including trust administration and related services, investment management, family office services, retirement plan and charitable organization administration, mineral (oil and gas) rights management, and financial, retirement and estate planning. For more information, visit argentcares.com.