Tuesday, May 21, 2024 May 21, 2024
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On the Links With: Jamie Britton, Texas Security Bank’s CFO and COO

Over a round of golf at Trophy Club Country Club, Britton dives into the possibility of a recession, AI in banking, blockchain, and more.
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Jamie Britton Illustration by Andrea Chavez

Jamie Britton and I teed it up for a friendly 18-hole match on the Hogan Course on a brisk and windy morning at Trophy Club Country Club. The CFO and COO at Texas Security Bank just celebrated his first full year with the company, which focuses on providing commercial banking services to middle-market businesses. It was a year filled with personal growth, Britton says, and a year of expansion for the bank.

In 2022, Texas Security Bank’s commercial lending services grew by 30 percent—and the bank is aiming to reach between $2.5 billion and $3 billion in assets within the next five years. It recently opened its fourth brick and mortar bank location in Southlake and has roughly 100 total employees.

As we tee off on the first hole, a downhill par 5, Britton says the possibility of an impending recession is birthing caution in the short term.

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Trophy Club Country Club Invited

“There’s tons of market opportunity here in DFW,” he says after our tee shots. “So, we’re not really worried about that, and we’re not to the point where we have to worry about saturation. We have to be cautious balancing community support, bringing in new relationships, and pushing too hard into a recession. The industry as a whole looks really good on the credit side, but what the Fed decides to do with rates and how hard they want to crash the economy to pay off inflation could lead to issues.”

As we approach the fifth hole, Britton says he cannot say for certain if a recession is coming, but he knows that DFW will prove resilient in the face of any economic turbulence. “North Texas has been really resilient in past downturns,” he says. “At least on the housing side, back in the ’08 crisis, every other market was going down, but North Texas stayed flat.”

The 183-yard par 3 presented quite the challenge in the wind, but both of our tee shots cleared the water hazard. Britton isn’t a long hitter with the driver; inside 50 yards, with a wedge in his hand, is the most fine-tuned portion of his game.

Prior to joining Texas Security Bank, Britton spent more than eight years at Texas Capital, serving his longest stint as SVP, director of finance. He also spent seven years with Atlanta-based SunTrust, navigating the economic crisis of 2008.

After transitioning into his role with Texas Security Bank in March 2022, Britton presented leadership with a game-plan for his new C-Suite position. “Despite taking on a new role, I didn’t want to introduce too much change too fast,” he says.

“I like to solve problems, jump in, and add value right away—and I was able to do that—but I wanted to guard against coming in and trying to do everything the way that I’ve done it in the past. I made sure to take time to learn the processes and people—their strengths and weaknesses—and the bank as a whole. I’ve seen some of the heightened regulatory expectations that come after you pass a $10 billion threshold, and, knowing what’s ahead, I feel that there are some things that need to be done along the way to make those transitions easier for when we get there.”

As part of those preparations, Britton says the organization is investing in tech and automation to fuel the future of its operations and reduce errors.

“I think banks need to do a better job of managing their own data,” he says. “If banks can get to the point where they’ve got a pretty strong central repository of their clients’ information, they understand their financials, and they’re able to identify who they are in terms of industry, geography, and the market they’re serving, then combining AI technology with [data sourced from the] web to better serve banking clients could have some legs.

“We have a year-long initiative focused on process engineering and trying to find ways to introduce automation where we can to take some of the burden off our staff. We have been successful so far with introducing bots to do some of the heavy lifting, and it has reduced many errors. We’re going to continue to think bigger and more transformative with everything we do and try to identify a few areas where we can really think differently about how we approach certain processes or problems and get multiple effects on efficiency right away.”

It’s dabbling in bots and AI, but Texas Security Bank has yet to invest in Blockchain technology, Britton says: The bank is keeping an eye on what companies in the market are doing. “There are a lot of benefits to blockchain technology,” he says. “It can help reduce fraud and speed up processes. We haven’t invested in that yet, but there are some companies out there who are starting to use a distributed ledger and Blockchain technology for payments.”

The Hogan Course presented a challenge for Britton and I, but our games synchronized on the 12th, 15th, and 17th holes, where we both logged good scores.

As we close out our day on the dog leg left 415-yard par 4 18th hole, Britton lays out his goals for Texas Security Bank in the upcoming years.

“If 2023 is a year where we have perhaps less growth than normal, but we can do a lot to improve the bank and ready it for 2024 and 2025, then I’ll be a pretty happy guy,” he says as we both walk off the final hole.

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Ben Swanger

Ben Swanger

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Ben Swanger is the managing editor for D CEO, the business title for D Magazine. Ben manages the Dallas 500, monthly…
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