Southside Bank’s new leader steps up

Mark Drennan

Southside Bank

1320 S. University Drive, Suite 100

Fort Worth 76107


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Southside Bank’s parent company, Southside Bancshares, is based in Tyler and has about $5.6 billion in assets. Southside operates about 60 banking facilities in east, north and central Texas.

Mark Drennan is not one for wasting time.

Drennan, 44, was recently named president of the North Texas Region for Southside Bank, one of the largest locally based financial institutions. It was earlier this year that he joined the company as an executive vice president for commercial lending for the North Texas Region.

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His new position further solidifies Southside’s plans to grow its commercial footprint.

“We’re very excited to announce Mark’s promotion to this vital role,” said Southside CEO Lee Gibson. “We know he will continue to grow and develop the bank’s commercial business, particularly in the health care segment.

“Our goal is to be the commercial bank of choice in North Texas. With Mark at the helm in this important region, Southside Bank will only continue to prosper.”

Drennan succeeds Tim Carter, longtime area banker and former president of the North Texas region for Southside Bank, who stepped down on Sept. 29.

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Carter says he knew Drennan was the right person to lead Southside Bank. “I met him about a year and a half ago and I almost immediately said [to myself] retire or step down, he’s the guy,” he said.

Drennan has nearly two decades of banking experience. This includes commercial banking and commercial real estate and starting and managing a health care and seniors housing banking team.

Drennan is active in the community. He was board chairman for Leadership Fort Worth and is a graduate of the program. He also served on the Vision Fort Worth Advisory Council, the Texas Health Resources Research and Education Council, and the board of directors for the Fort Worth Metropolitan YMCA. He is active in the National Investment Center for Senior Housing and the Healthcare and Financial Management Association.

Drennan is a Fort Worth native. He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration, along with a master’s degree from Texas Tech University. He also graduated from the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at the University of Pennsylvania, one of the top banking schools in the nation.

Drennan agreed to answer a few questions about his life and career for the Fort Worth Business Press:

Can you tell us a little bit about growing up in Fort Worth?

I enjoyed growing up in the area. My father spent many years with the USDA in Fort Worth and over 25 years in the Air Force, most of that time at Carswell. My mother spent over 35 years in school administration in Tarrant County, so the value of hard work and community trusteeship was instilled at an early age. My first baseball glove was purchased at what today is Montgomery Plaza, so the landscape downtown has changed dramatically, especially over the last decade. I believe North Texas, and specifically Fort Worth, is the best market in the country to live and work.

How have you seen banking change in general and in Fort Worth?

The biggest change is the overall number of banks in the market, many moving in from out of state. Most banks have a special focus or niche, so I believe there is enough business for all of us. With our recently approved acquisition of First Bank and Trust East Texas, we will be close to $7 billion in assets, so we are able to compete favorably with the larger banks while at the same time developing strong individual relationships with our clients.

What’s your favorite part of banking?

Without question, it’s the relationships that are formed over the years. Relationships with clients, colleagues and the community make this a special profession. Seeing clients reach their goals and build their businesses is extremely rewarding.

How has Southside grown in Fort Worth? In Texas?

Our presence in Fort Worth began in 2007, when Southside Bank merged with Fort Worth National Bank. With the Omni American Bank merger in 2014, we are now in multiple suburbs of Fort Worth, as well as Frisco. We now have 15 branch locations in the North Texas region, mostly in Tarrant County.

Technology is changing banking. How does Southside respond to those changes?

Southside Bank offers a competitive range of banking technologies, such as a mobile banking app, a debit card fraud protection app, online bill pay, mobile payments and the latest treasury management and merchant services. We are also piloting a line of interactive teller machines in our home market of East Texas called Southside Live, which we hope to eventually expand into all three of our markets, including North Texas and Austin. Banking is quickly evolving technologically, and we want to make sure we provide our customers with technology-driven products and services that best suit their needs.