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From left: John Everett, Jeremy Loftin, Brett Magers and Brandon Taylor
SBJ photo by McKenzie Robinson
From left: John Everett, Jeremy Loftin, Brett Magers and Brandon Taylor

2021 Dynamic Dozen No. 8: Legacy Bank and Trust

Posted online

SBJ: What has been key to your recent growth?
John Everett: Our people. We were able to lay a solid foundation and articulated our vision to veteran bankers in our area. As this vision became a reality, we no longer were recruiting talent. They were calling us for an opportunity. I have been in the industry for 30 years and I have never worked with such a talented and dedicated group of individuals.

SBJ: What are your top issues when it comes to managing growth?
Everett: For a bank, it is always asset quality. Future growth will come to a complete halt if you are working out of problems versus developing new business. We never will compromise our asset quality for the sake of growth.

SBJ: What has the company’s growth enabled you to do?
Everett: Attract and retain our staff. Your time is stretched awfully thin. There’s only so many people you can manage at one time. It’s just more leadership positions opening up. You also have to focus on retention. Pay, obviously, is one [and] benefits, recognition, communication. If people don’t see your organization growing, they become bored and look at other options.

SBJ: What are your top issues when it comes to managing growth?
Everett: Our management team is constantly focused on adequately supporting that growth. More than half of our staff works behind the scenes servicing our business development team and our existing customers. We never want to be in a position where we can’t quickly service our new and existing customers.

SBJ: Is your fast growth sustainable?
Everett: Yes, as long as the economy remains strong and we are able to attract additional talent to our organization.  ​

SBJ: Is there such thing as growing too fast?  ​
Everett: Yes. Our culture is paramount to who we are and what we do. It is more difficult to keep what made you great as you grow, if you don’t make it a priority.

SBJ: Where is the tipping point?
Everett: The actual tipping point is impossible to define. Your staff will tell you when you are there if you don’t see it yourself. We really have what I would call no negative turnover. That’s one of our key metrics. We can’t lose what made us, and we continue to focus on that.

SBJ: Have your goals changed as business has taken off?
Everett: Yes. The bar constantly moves as we accomplish our goals. You always have quality goals. That never changes. That bar never moves when we say we want to deliver quick service. Banks have a number of industrywide accepted metrics that you hit. There’s a litany of them that you watch as a bank. Most of those obviously are financial related. When we hit a certain metric goal, that’s great and then we redefine our goals. Our measurable metrics, how can we do better every year and continue to improve? Our goal is always to work on our metrics. If we achieve those, then growth should happen. It should be a byproduct.

SBJ: What is the best business advice you’ve received?​
Everett: I value talking with leaders of all businesses in our areas. I want to hear what challenges that they have endured and what worked and more importantly, what didn’t work.


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