Whitney Bank names Gary Lorio as new president

By Mark Waller, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune Click here for the original article on nola.com


Gary Lorio Whitney Bank New Orleans area president 2013.jpg

Whitney Bank has named a new president for its operations in the New Orleans area. The president, Gary Lorio, a native New Orleanian, De La Salle High School and Tulane University bachelors degree and Master of Business Administration graduate, joined Whitney in 1998, served as a senior vice president and commercial banking group manager and most recently worked as commercial banking manager for the New Orleans market.

Before joining Whitney, he worked for First National Bank of Commerce for 16 years as a commercial banking senior vice president.

Whitney started in New Orleans in 1883 and was acquired by Hancock Holding Company of Gulfport, Miss., which runs Hancock Bank branches, in 2011. Branches in Louisiana and Texas have the Whitney name, while branches in Mississippi, Alabama and Florida are called Hancock Bank. Customers of either brand can do their banking at all the locations.

The Whitney portion of the company maintains its headquarters in New Orleans, where it calls itself the oldest continuously operating bank.

“Whitneys founders established the bank 130 years ago to help people achieve their financial goals and dreams,” said Carl J. Chaney, Hancock Holding Company president and chief executive officer, in a statement about Lorios appointment. “We continue to embrace that mission and the fundamental values that guide our local, everyday decision-making. Gary Lorio knows New Orleans and its people and embodies the spirit that sets the metro area apart as a hub of opportunity.”

“Gary Lorio is one of the most seasoned commercial bankers in the area,” said Joe Exnicios, president of the entire Whitney operation, in the announcement. “He has extensive knowledge of our community and a keen understanding of the full spectrum of financial services that people and businesses need to succeed locally, nationally, and internationally.”

Earlier this year, Hancock Holding Company announced it would close 40 Whitney and Hancock branches in five states as part of a plan to adjust to market conditions such as the rise of online banking. The impact in the New Orleans area was light, with only two branches closing, one in Algiers and one in LaPlace. Louisiana also saw three closures in Baton Rouge, two in Alexandria and one in Pineville.

In July the company announced it sold the three branches in Alexandria and Pineville to Sabine State Bank, based in Many, La., so those branches will stay open as banks under a different company and take over about $20 million in loans and $30 million in deposits.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation listed Whitney as the second largest Louisiana-based bank with $12.8 billion in assets as of June 30. Iberia Bank of Lafayette is slightly larger.

Hancock Bank is the third largest Mississippi bank with $6.5 billion in assets. Sabine State Bank and Trust Company, which took over the Whitney locations in Alexandria and Pineville, was 15th in Louisiana with about $738 million.

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