Tradition & Transition - Trinity Bank Looks to the Future

FORT WORTH – January 31, 2020 – It was 2003, and longtime Fort Worth banker Jeff Harp prepared to launch a bank with state-of-the-art infrastructure supporting banking the way it used to be – local, personal, and excellent.

“At that time, I made five commitments that would be the foundation of Trinity Bank,” said Harp, the bank’s chairman. “First, we would raise and maintain the capital for financial strength. Second, we would become profitable and do it quickly. Third, we would consistently exceed the returns of our peer-group banks. Fourth, we would sustain that performance even in difficult times. And fifth, we would steadily develop our stable of ‘next generation’ leaders to take Trinity Bank into the future.”

In every case, those commitments from the early days have been kept. Trinity Bank:

  • posted 57 consecutive quarters of growth.
  • stock price has increased more than 600%.
  • significantly outpaced peer group banks in both return on assets and return on equity.
  • grew from 13 employees and no business at inception to $300 million in assets and 23 employees today.
  • navigated the Great Recession of 2008-09 without missing a beat.
  • currently provides $165 million in loans to small to medium businesses in Fort Worth and North Texas.
  • remains committed to being an independent, local bank with local decision making and personal service.

“While earning this track record over the past 16 years, we also were careful to keep an eye on the future – the next 16 years,” Harp said. “I’m pleased to say we’re strong in that department as well as we position Trinity Bank to continue serving its customers and community.”

Harp, a TCU MBA graduate and two-time Academic All-American, is nearing almost 50 years of banking in Fort Worth. With the future in mind, Harp, who had served as Chairman, President and CEO, has more clearly defined the roles of Trinity’s senior management team. While Harp remains as chairman and will be working every day both with customers and in the bank, Executive Vice President Matt Opitz assumes the CEO title, Executive Vice President Barney Wiley is President and Executive Vice President Richard Burt is Chief of Operations.

“The four of us have long operated as a management ‘team’ in the truest sense of that word,” Wiley said. “Because we modified our responsibilities some time back, our customers won’t notice a change in the quality of personal service they expect from Trinity Bank.”

“Jeff remains the heart of Trinity Bank,” Opitz said. “But we’re growing now and intend to do even more. Sharing the workload among senior managers positions us to do more with the same level of service.”

“From day one, everything we’ve done at Trinity Bank has been geared toward providing an excellent customer experience,” Burt said. “That’s what drove our decisions then, and it’s what is driving this transition now. We’re maintaining our tradition of excellence and transitioning to seize all the opportunities we see.”

Burt knows about “day one.” He was there when Harp opened the bank. As Chief Operating Officer, he continues to build upon his years of experience from managing large and smaller bank operations. His bank oversight includes information technology, including compliance, accounting, regulatory reporting and security.

Burt is a Fort Worth native who began his banking career in 1975 while a student at Texas Wesleyan University. He also is a graduate of the Texas Tech School of Banking and the Graduate School of Banking in Madison, Wisconsin. He is married to Winnetta, whom he met in the first grade! They have five children and seven grandchildren.

Wiley, also a Fort Worth native, is a University of Texas graduate with a Masters in Professional Accounting and a CPA. After beginning his career in public accounting in Dallas with Pricewaterhouse Coopers, he was happy to find his way back home to Fort Worth and has been with Trinity Bank since the doors opened 16 years ago. Over the years, business customers have learned to appreciate Wiley’s financial judgement and counsel which might explain why today he oversees the bank’s largest loan portfolio.

He and his wife, Holly, have four children and live in the TCU area.

Opitz, another Fort Worth native, joined Trinity Bank in 2018 following a 10-year career with Frost Bank where he was a senior vice president. As Trinity prepares for growth opportunities ahead, Opitz brings a wealth of experience developing young bankers. Additionally, on the operations side, he has contributed greatly in developing and formalizing processes and procedures to prepare Trinity for the future.

“’We have our own technology infrastructure, our own on-site decision makers and a deep, deep bench of support staff,” Opitz said. “If something is not right, we can fix it here. If a customer needs a decision, we make it here.”

In fact, Trinity bank’s average staffer has 22 years of banking experience and the management team has over 30 years’ experience on average.

It’s this kind of strength that enables Trinity Bank to post nationally recognized results. CB Resources Inc.’s quarterly report of top-performing banks ranked Trinity in the Top 10 nationwide in its asset group.

“Such recognition is appreciated, but it’s not what we’re about,” Harp said. “We’re about building long-term relationships by providing the most responsive, person-to-person banking in North Texas and finding the next customer to serve in the same way. This transition in our senior management team is the next step on that journey.”

Trinity Bank (OTC PINK: TYBT) is located at 3500 West Vickery Boulevard in Fort Worth and is rated among the top banks in the U.S. by the independent rating agency Weiss Ratings, LLC.

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