NEW ORLEANS--(Investar Bank today named long-time, respected career bankers Stephen E. Wessel as regional president of the bank’s new franchise serving the New Orleans-area market, including the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain, and Kevin J. Dobson as chief lending officer.)--
“Steve and Kevin will build Investar Bank into the leading community bank in the New Orleans area based on our values of local service, local solutions and local leadership”
Wessel, with 27 years of banking experience, will be responsible for the development, expansion and management of all branching, commercial, consumer and mortgage banking activity for the New Orleans area. He also will ensure that Investar’s client service standards are met and exceeded and will manage the area’s credit controls, loan approvals, expense controls, compliance and revenue goals. As the most senior leader in the area, Wessel also will make certain that Investar provides leadership support for area non-profits as well as business and community organizations.
He most recently served as senior vice president and New Orleans market president for Home Bank and previously was president, chief executive officer and a director at Guaranty Savings Bank in Metairie. In addition, Wessel’s career in the New Orleans market includes senior leadership positions at Whitney National Bank, AmSouth Bank, Hibernia National Bank and other area financial institutions.
A New Orleans native, Wessel received a bachelor’s degree in finance from Loyola University. Earlier this year, he was named one of City Business magazine’s “Money Makers,” which recognizes financial professionals whose fiscal and civic work has set the pace for the region. Wessel is a member of the Christian Brothers Foundation and is past president of the Elmwood Business Association and former district fund-raising chair for the Boy Scouts of America.
Dobson, who has 17 years of banking experience, will lead the bank’s commercial, small-business and private banking team. As part of Investar’s focus on establishing a full-service, client-focused community banking franchise in the area, he will reach out to the businesses driving the local economy and the individuals and families who call the region home. Dobson most recently served as first vice president and senior commercial relationship manager and previously served in senior commercial banking roles at Guaranty Savings Bank, AmSouth Bank and Whitney Bank.
He received a bachelor’s degree in finance and marketing from the University of New Orleans and provides community support for Volunteers of America.
“Steve and Kevin will build Investar Bank into the leading community bank in the New Orleans area based on our values of local service, local solutions and local leadership,” said John D’Angelo, president and CEO of Investar. “Community banking is the best way to serve clients. At Investar Bank, we understand our clients’ needs, our associates live and work where our clients do, and we provide personalized service that much larger institutions cannot. As Steve and Kevin build their team, we believe clients will appreciate how Investar can help clients reach their goals.”
Investar announced in June that it had purchased a 4,000-square-foot facility in Mandeville, La., at 2929 Highway 190. The Mandeville location, expected to open early next year, will be a full-service branch that will meet the needs of north shore businesses and consumers. This will be Investar’s second location in the area to complement its Metairie location announced in early April. That office will be located at 500 Veterans Blvd. and is expected to open in October.
Investar also has five branches in Baton Rouge, Denham Springs, Port Allen and Prairieville and a sixth in Lafayette expected to open next year, pending regulatory approval. In addition to business and consumer banking, branch employees at both New Orleans-area offices will provide mortgage loans, commercial banking and private banking.
Investar Bank, which had total assets of $316 million at June 30, 2012, provides comprehensive products and services for businesses and individuals. The bank is considered well-capitalized for regulatory purposes with a Tier 1 Capital Ratio of 12.01%.
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