Nations Lending expands in Miss., Tenn., Fla., & Mass.

Nations Lending Corporation has been in expansion mode in the South and Northeast. The independent mortgage lender had opened a new Alabama branch in March, and now has added several new branches and local mortgage origination teams. The new branch in Naples, Florida is led by Robert Proulx, another in North Attleboro, Massachusetts is led by Paul Salcone. Both are experienced originators with deep local connections.

Proulx brings nearly 20 years of expertise in loan origination, branch leadership and business development, founding a mortgage business in Massachusetts, and expanding his team into the Florida market in 2018. Salcone has been in the industry for 10 years across Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Proulx and Salcone joined Nations from Northpointe Bank, where both were top originators contributing to the team’s combined production more than $80 million in 2019, said Corey Caster, Executive Vice President of National Production.

“When top producers like Rob and Paul,” who have had significant success in our industry, growing their business into multiple markets, said Caster. They appreciate what Nations has to offer and “all the momentum we’re building this year.” That momentum includes the lender’s expansion in the South.

Nations is also adding new branches in Southaven, North Mississippi, and Memphis, Tennessee market led by husband-and-wife team, Dale and Tammy Kennedy.

Tammy will serve as branch producer and sales manager. She brings to Nations more than 20 years of mortgage originations experience and generated more than $30 million in loan volume in 2019. She brings “a deep knowledge base of her market” along with the drive to win business, said Caster.

In 2018, Dale joined Tammy’s team as branch manager and contributed his logistics expertise to help scale up production by nearly 100%, according to Caster. “We think Nations’ sales and marketing platforms will help them continue to do so.”

Tammy, Dale and the rest of the Kennedy team routinely serve clients and their realtor partners in North Mississippi, neighboring Memphis and surrounding areas, where the team has strong community ties. “We are in growth mode, and we view this partnership with Nations as an extension of that,” said Dale.

Headquartered in Independence, Ohio, and licensed to lend in all 50 states, Nations operates more than 85 branches across the country. The fast growing, full service, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae lender also retains mortgage-servicing rights on 96% of the loans it originates, according to the company website.

Reliant names president & new executives

Reliant Bancorp, Inc., the parent company for Reliant Bank, named John R. Wilson President of the Company and Reliant Bank, headquartered in Brentwood, Tenn.

DeVan Ard, Jr. will continue to serve as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of both the Company and Reliant Bank.

Wilson joined Reliant Bank, a full-service commercial bank that offers a variety of deposit, lending, and mortgage products and services through ten banking centers across Tennessee, in 2005. Most recently, he served as Chief Loan Officer.

Wilson is a proven leader and team builder with over 30 years of banking experience in Middle Tennessee, said Ard. “In his new role, he will oversee the day-to-day sales and service operations of Reliant Bank, and will report directly to me.”

This move also aligns the company’s management team “to be more effective as we continue to grow and add scale,” he said.

As part of that leadership restructuring process, Reliant also announced the promotion of two executives.

Mark Ryman will succeed Wilson as Chief Loan Officer. He joined Reliant Bank in 2005, having most recently served as Williamson and Davidson County Market President.

Bill Fitzgerald is the company’s new Chief Risk Officer. Before joining Reliant Bank in 2019, he worked for over 35 years in public accounting. His most recent experiences include executive roles at Carr, Riggs and Ingram, LLC, where he served as an audit partner in the financial institutions group.

First Bank promotes SVP of Mortgage Division

First Bank & Trust Company has promoted Andy Puckett, who joined the community bank in 2019, to Senior Vice President and Manager of the Mortgage Division.

Puckett will assume the role of division manager upon the June 30announcement of the retirement of his predecessor, Rick Buchanan. 

In his new role, Puckett will continue to grow the real estate lending division of First Bank & Trust Company “while managing a staff of 43 loan originators and support personnel,” the Abingdon, Va., the diversified financial services firm company said.

He will be responsible for the management of staff serving the bank’s geographic footprint from Johnson City, Tennessee to Winchester, Virginia office locations in southwest Virginia, northeast Tennessee.

“Andy is knowledgeable and experienced in the mortgage industry”, said William Mark Nelson, President and Chief Executive Officer of First Bank & Trust Company.  “He will continue to build on the strong foundation of this division so that First Bank & Trust Company can continue to meet the housing finance needs of our markets.”

Puckett has 15 years of banking experience, most recently at Farm Credit of the Virginias, ACA. A graduate of Emory & Henry College, Class of 2003, he also has completed several courses at Farm Credit University.

He is Vice Chairman of the Virginia Highlands Airport Authority, where he serves as Treasurer, and a former member of the Washington County Ag Advisory Committee.

Finastra appoints Chief Customer Officer

Open platform global fintech, Finastra has appointed Neil Blagden as Chief Customer Officer responsible for overseeing “everything the company does to design, deliver and enable excellent experiences for its customers,” the company said in a release.

Blagden brings deep expertise coupled with a wealth of knowledge in customer support, operations and digital transformation earned building agile customer-first business cultures, the company said, including working with teams to build solutions and insights powered by Artificial Intelligence and data.

Prior to joining Finastra he served as Director of Customer Services, Operations & Digital at Vodafone UK, where he oversaw a number of areas, including customer experience for 24 million customers across mobile, broadband and Internet of Things (IoT) services. Prior to that, he worked at Direct Line Group as Director of Customer Experience & Conduct, progressing from his previous role as Director of Business Services.

Earlier in his career, Blagden also held front-office consulting roles at Accenture, EY and PwC working with clients across multiple sectors.

“Customer experience has always been the key focus throughout my career,” said Blagden. Innovation and the value the company “places on ensuring the customer is at the heart of everything, is inspiring. I’m looking forward to accelerating that drive and deepening these relationships.”

“His enthusiasm for his craft and proven track record aligns with our commitment “to build deep and long-lasting relationships with our customers, and long may this continue and evolve with Neil on board,” said Simon Paris, Chief Executive Officer at Finastra.

Part of the Finastra Executive Leadership team, Blagden is based in London, but working remotely at present.

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