May 24, 2018
In a typical bank merger, only one brand survives. Gulfport, Miss.-based Hancock Bank and New Orleans’ Whitney Bank merged seven years ago — but today, they are getting around to adopting a single name: Hancock Whitney Bank. Until now, the bank operated under different names in different markets.
Hancock and Whitney each had more than a century of deep history in their hometown markets — and, more importantly, a remarkable shared story, one that Hancock Whitney CEO John Hairston describes in the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast. The shared history goes back to May 25, 1918, when the board of Hancock Bank on the Gulf Coast agreed to sell a troubled New Orleans bank that they also controlled to Whitney Bank, protecting depositors of all institutions involved.
And during the Great Depression, before the advent of federal deposit insurance, Hancock and Whitney leaders made a pact to protect each others’ depositors. “With a history like that, you don’t just throw a brand away,” says Hairston. And the newly combined brand takes effect on the 100th anniversary, to the day, of that first Hancock-Whitney deal.
Hairston and Hancock Whitney President Joseph Exnicios also discuss the strategic considerations of the merger and the process they went through to combine the banks, and they tell some incredible stories from another shared story both Hancock and Whitney share: Hurricane Katrina.