Most bankers can’t claim to be doing much celebrating these days. But by keeping their operation local and independent, Texas Capital Bank and CEO George Jones have managed to thrive while Wall Street panics. This year marks their 11th anniversary, and the company boasts 32 consecutive quarters of profitability. Jones was among the bankers who founded Texas Capital in 1998, aiming to replace the personalized service that had disappeared after the banking collapse of the late ’80s and early ’90s. Calling his employees “relationship managers,” Jones’ goal was to create a bank catering to the needs of the middle-market customer. With $5.1 billion in assets and a recent move into larger headquarters space, lifelong banker Jones remains optimistic. “We’re dealing with issues in the financial community today that we’ve never dealt with before,” he says. “But in any downturn, there is a bright spot or two of opportunity. The trick is to find it, address it, and embrace it.”
President, co-founder, and CEO of Texas Capital Bancshares and Texas Capital Bank
Married to wife Miriam for 13 years. Two adult children and two boys aged 3 and 5.
Best part of job
I’m involved in the hiring of most of our relationship managers. I love finding the best people that we possibly can find to handle client relationships.
Worst part of job
I miss dealing on a direct basis with the customer. I make a lot of calls, but not nearly as much of the negotiation and on-the-ground relationship activity as I did before.
My dad’s company had a warehouse in South Dallas and I worked one summer loading cars and carrying packages. Back then they didn’t have air conditioning. I worked 8 to 5 in 100-degree weather. I think he did that to be sure that I never wanted to do that again and [would get] my education.
To keep them interested and functional, you have to make [employees] part of the decision-making process for the company. I believe in collaborative management. Use the talent that you’ve attracted.
I love to hunt and fish. I’m a wing shooter. I used to be a big golfer, but the two little ones have cut down on my time off.
Books I just finished Extreme Measures by Vince Flynn. It’s about my favorite secret agent. I spend so much time working on business issues that it’s a great release to read a novel.
The other George Jones
I have his greatest hits. I can imitate him, but you don’t want to hear that. I saw him not too long ago, and he’s still going strong.
After college I went to work at Mercantile Bank for $490 a month. To support my family, I got a second job at the old Sanger-Harris in Preston Center in the men’s clothing department. I can still alter your clothes if you’d like me to.
The kids love to wrestle and play. I run around with my tongue hanging out all the time trying to keep up with them. But it keeps me young. I expect to be playing football when I’m 75 years old.
Building this business. It’s been a labor of love. We grew from ground zero. We never merged with another financial institution. It’s all been organic growth.
I’ve got a 201(k) instead of a 401(k) with today’s stock market and two little kids, so I can’t see myself retiring.