2017 Dynamic Dozen Top Local Financial Executive: Brandon Taylor
Brandon Taylor has a simple, but impactful, philosophy.
“I treat the bank like it is my own business, which means I am constantly selling and looking for new opportunities,” says Taylor, chief financial officer and chief operations officer at Legacy Bank & Trust Co. “I believe every associate in the bank should be involved in business development and I am no exception.”
It’s propelled the success of Taylor and his team in both challenging circumstances and in the very best of times. Beginning his career in banking in early 2010 in the midst of a financial downturn, Taylor rose to the challenge of becoming an agent of change.
“This was a delicate process,” Taylor says. “But my goal was to find ways to cut expenses that would not jeopardize our customer service or dampen the morale of our associates. I reviewed all of our bills in detail, analyzed and renegotiated our vendor contracts and incented our associates to look for ways to save. These efforts led to an over 10 percent decrease in total operating expenses over my first two years.”
Taylor explains a focus on doing the little things that left Legacy Bank & Trust poised to play offense again when the economy began to improve.
“Fast forward to 2017 and we are performing at the highest level in the bank’s 109-year history,” Taylor says.
In the past two years, Legacy Bank & Trust has increased annual earnings by 65 percent. In the same period of time, the bank has achieved over 25 percent asset growth and 30 percent loan growth.
In his capacity as CFO, Taylor negotiated and secured significant financing at the holding company level and fortified credit lines of over $100 million at the bank level. Both alternative funding sources are key to the continued growth and expansion of the bank, he says.
“Much of my time is devoted to spearheading the development and implementation of new products and services and coordinating other special products geared toward increasing the profitability and the franchise value of our organization,” Taylor says.
Formerly a member of the audit team at BKD LLP, Taylor brought a wealth of financial experience to his current role. However, it is his innate people skills that guide and inspire him to do his best work.
“Our investors are the people we see and work with on a daily basis, which is a constant motivator,” he says. “The key to maintaining and growing capital, liquidity and financial reserves in our bank is to maximize shareholder value while maintaining a high level of customer satisfaction.”
Bank President and CEO John Everett credits Taylor with a unique gift in communication as a listener.
“He has an underappreciated ability to listen and digest the issue that we are facing,” Everett says. “Brandon doesn’t have to talk more than anyone in the room. He doesn’t speak just to be heard. He is one of the few young people who I know that has the ability to say a lot in only a few words.”