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Launching a Key Growth Initiative at Trustmark National Bank

Date: Oct 21, 2022 @ 05:00 AM

In late August, Trustmark National Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of Trustmark Corporation, introduced a new line of business, Equipment Finance, in its Specialty Banking division based in Atlanta, GA.

The company expects its Equipment Finance business to serve a broader range of commercial businesses and assist clients nationwide in obtaining assets to grow their business.

The Equipment Finance team is led by Joe Hines, who joined Trustmark in June as Managing Director of Equipment Finance. With a 25-year career in the industry, Hines brings extensive experience in equipment finance and management.

The team of seasoned professionals that has been assembled to lead the new line of business includes: Jason Center, Director of Equipment Finance Originations; Sara Higby, Senior Manager of Equipment Finance Operations; and Patty Culos, Equipment Finance Underwriting Manager.

Equipment Finance article with David R. Shutley of Trustmark Corporation

“Our team of accomplished professionals has the experience, skills and talent to help commercial clients of all sizes and types reach their equipment objectives and achieve their financial goals,” said David Shutley, Senior Vice President and Director of Specialty Banking. “Customers will be able to acquire large equipment loans and leases through our credit offerings, while enjoying Trustmark’s best-in-class customer service.”

Equipment Finance Advisor interviewed Hines and Shutley to learn more about Trustmark’s new Equipment Finance business and their plans for the line of business.

Equipment Finance Advisor:Given all of the headwinds facing companies – supply chain woes, inflation, COVID among others, why is this a good time to start an equipment finance business line?

Equipment Finance article with Joseph Hines of Trustmark National Bank

Joseph Hines: From my perspective, this is an opportunity for the company to meet the needs of clients and grow its portfolio. While there are obviously some constraints, we are optimistic that supply chains will continue to loosen up and the economy will be strong.

David Shutley: I would add that it's a core product for a core part of the U.S. economy. As Joe said, there are constraints now, but this is not a product that's going to go away, and it's important to our clients. It helps us grow new clients and turn prospects into clients. And it's a key part of the growth initiative for Trustmark.

Equipment Finance Advisor: David, what makes Joe a good fit for Trustmark?

Shutley: When we decided to start an equipment finance division, we performed a wide search for the best candidate. We found Joe, and he was a perfect fit given his background. He has 25 years of equipment finance experience, ranging from startups to large organizations. In addition, his ability to recruit a high-quality team was important. He's also here in the Atlanta market where we were opening an office. Joe also has an excellent reputation in the industry.

Equipment Finance Advisor: Joe, what showed you Trustmark was a place you wanted to work and lead.

Hines: In this industry, you often hear about new opportunities. Nothing piqued my interest at the level Trustmark did. I really liked when David and I sat down initially, and I heard about the vision of the bank and his vision for specialty banking. Then I met with the executive team – the entire C-Suite, the message was consistent around their desire to grow, not only equipment finance, but other products and services, as well as growing geographically. It felt like a good culture. It was something I was immediately drawn to and felt comfortable with. The playbook we plan to run is something we discussed the first day. We were all very much aligned.

Equipment Finance Advisor: Would you share some of your goals and objectives for the business?

Hines: Our short-term goal is to continue to staff the team. We have hired a head of operations, a head of underwriting and a head of originations – all colleagues I have worked with in other organizations. David had been putting the business plan together before I joined and was starting to talk with potential team members. I am happy we were able to have these three high-quality individuals join the team, and we're going to add some additional teammates in the short term. My goal is to get everything ready to officially start doing business in the fourth quarter including having the staffing in place. From there, we’ll be spending time with our bank partners, educating them on our products, what fits in the box, how best to work with us, and then, how we can help them bring in new clients. Those are the things out of the gate on which I'm focused.

Shutley: We want to provide high-quality service to clients, quick turnaround times, an efficient process, competitive rates and structure. We have a self-contained business unit. We can control all aspects of the delivery. Everyone on the team is a part of the vision of what we’re building.

Equipment Finance Advisor: Has there been any equipment finance activity at Trustmark historically?

Shutley: Yes, however, it has been very limited. We've had some equipment finance activity consisting of smaller deal sizes than what we're currently targeting. There hasn't been a concerted effort on the part of the bank to pursue this business until now. We're targeting the middle market and, selectively, large corporate customers with deal sizes of a million dollars and higher.

Hines: The overall theme is to make sure we have a calculated growth strategy. We certainly want to grow revenue and assets for the bank, and we're going to do it in a methodical and calculated manner.

Equipment Finance Advisor: In terms of geographies, industries and credits, can you share your targets?

Hines: We think of equipment finance as a national business. There's certainly a bank footprint that we'll be working with our partners on, and we'll also look to bring prospective clients into Trustmark, with a focus on a good balance between our risk and return.

Equipment Finance Advisor: It sounds like the bank is looking at equipment finance as a way to provide services for existing customers and a way to draw in new bank customers?

Shutley: We view it as a good way to convert prospects to customers in our footprint. And as Joe and I have talked about, it's also a national business. We will be working with clients nationwide and working with other banks to source transactions. It's a combination of working with existing clients, attracting new clients, and working nationally on an indirect basis.

Hines: It has certainly shown over time that equipment finance can be a good lead product or wedge product for banks as they look to grow their customer base.

Equipment Finance Advisor: What will your early first hires add to the team?

Hines: They are the leaders we wanted to build the foundation going forward. They bring a combined more than 80 years of experience. They are industry veterans, and we wanted to bring them on as a part of the leadership team. We want them to not only help us during this process of starting up the business, but then also staffing out their specific departments. This has been a divide-and-conquer approach between the management team and David and others within the bank. We have a lot of great internal bank partners helping us learn systems and get through processes and procedures. We'll be focusing more externally on bringing in new clients soon.

Shutley: We've worked hard to have everything in place so when we officially launch, we can handle the volume and provide excellent service to clients.

Equipment Finance Advisor: Are you considering a buy desk?

Hines: Yes, both an indirect and direct strategy on originations. That'll be the plan to have a good balance. That'll also give us an opportunity to work with our industry partners. We feel an important part of the business model is the ability to sell exposure or trade paper.

Equipment Finance Advisor: What advantages and challenges are you going to have in terms of starting an equipment finance line of business from scratch?

Shutley: There are many advantages. We've been able to select our team. We can control our own destiny based on the way we're rolling this out. We can build the business in the most effective way. We can use current technology, and we're not having to integrate an existing portfolio or an existing team. We're starting it from scratch, so we can build it as we'd like to build it.

Hines: There are no legacy systems and processes, or a portfolio, as David said. Those are things we will not have to change. However, not having those things means we have to build them from scratch. There are plusses and minuses. We’re in a tight labor market. The biggest opportunity for us is to take what we’ve learned over the years, the things that we saw really work, and bring that to this team and to Trustmark. We have an opportunity to build what we think are the best practices for our business.

Shutley: I would reiterate what Joe said earlier about the senior management. The executive level support has been very consistent from the beginning, and we recruited a really strong team with Joe's help. The messaging is very consistent across the board of what the strategy is and how we're going to execute it.

Mike Dickinson
Editor | Equipment Finance Advisor
Mike Dickinson is Editor of Equipment Finance Advisor. Dickinson has more than 30 years of experience as an Editor and Reporter. He spent 20-plus years at the Rochester Business Journal in Rochester, NY, including 18 years as Managing Editor. He also covered Eastman Kodak, technology, optics and telecommunications, among other areas. His writing and reporting on Eastman Kodak won 1st Place – 2012 National Newspaper Association Best Business Story and the Gold Award – 2012 Alliance of Area Business Publishers for Breaking-news coverage. He also won the Silver Award – 2001 Alliance of Area Business Publishers Best Coverage of Local Breaking News – Global Crossing. Prior to working in the business news arena, Dickinson was a reporter for the daily newspapers in Syracuse, NY, and Batavia, NY. Dickinson holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications/Journalism from St. Bonaventure University.
Comments From Our Members

Bob Rinaldi • View APN Profile
Harry Kaplun and Bob Rinaldi of Rinaldi Advisory Services along with John Gerson of Executive Solutions (an RAS Alliance Network Partner) were engaged by Trustmark to help develop and implement their denovo entry into the Equipment Leasing & Finance Market. David Shutley and Monica Day along with Duane Dewey (CEO) and Barry Harvey (CCO) made fantastic partners to work with on this project. Congratulations to the entire Trustmark team and we look forward to assisting in your success! WELL DONE ALL! YOU HAVE A GOOD LEADER IN JOE!
10.20.2022 @ 10:50 AM
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