Frank Smith is a founder of Smith Shellnut, and serves as the company’s CEO. Prior to the establishment of Smith Shellnut, Frank was Senior Executive Vice President with Sunburst Bank responsible for the Bank’s broker dealer subsidiary, mortgage company, trust department, finance company, and cash management division. He also managed the bank’s $600 million investment portfolio and chaired its asset/liability management committee. He brings to the table expertise in fixed-income securities, such as municipal, U. S. government, and corporate bonds. Frank received a B.A. from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, with a double major in business administration and economics, and received an M.B.A. from Delta State University. He is also a graduate of the National School of Bank Investments at the University of Illinois and the School of Banking of the South at Louisiana State University.
Kenneth Lott joined Smith Shellnut in 2001, and manages the Finance and Personnel Divisions of Smith Shellnut. Kenneth has 25 years of banking experience, most recently as President and Chief Operating Officer of Lamar Capital Corporation and Lamar Bank in Purvis, Mississippi. During his 13-year tenure at Lamar, Kenneth played an integral part in helping to grow the $57 million bank to a $430 million publicly-traded company. His duties there included chairmanship of both the investment and asset/liability management committees. Kenneth is an honor graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi with a B.S.B.A. degree in accounting. He is also an honor graduate of BAI’s School for Bank Administration at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
Ray Thompson joined Smith Shellnut in 2001 and manages the Investment Division of the firm. Ray began his banking career in 1976 with Deposit Guaranty National Bank. During his tenure there, he served in various capacities including corporate planning, commercial lending, deposit product development, and investment portfolio management. In 1998, when Deposit Guaranty was acquired by First American Corporation of Nashville, TN, Ray was Chief Investment Officer of Deposit Guaranty Corporation and Managing Director of the Asset Management Group. In that capacity, he managed a $4.3 billion trust division, a 40-person brokerage subsidiary, and a $1.7 billion mutual fund complex. Additionally, Ray was CEO of Deposit Guaranty’s Park South subsidiary, which provided investment advisory services to high net worth clientele. At First American, Ray was named Executive Vice President of the Investment Management Division, where he was the senior executive responsible for managing $10 billion in assets. Ray holds a B.A. degree from Cornell University, where he earned the distinction of Phi Beta Kappa, and a M.B.A. from Harvard University.
Will Johnson joined Smith Shellnut in 1995. He works in the Investment Division in both fixed income and equities and also serves on the Investment Committee. With more than fifteen years’ experience in investment management, he has industry insight and portfolio management acumen which are a major benefit to Smith Shellnut’s clients. Will is a graduate of Mississippi State University with a B.B.A. in Banking and Finance.
Frank serves as the Investment Manager for institutional bank portfolios. In this capacity, he is responsible for fixed-income analysis, strategy and trading. Further, he is responsible for developing investment plans and recommendations in response to clients’ individual needs. Frank serves on the Investment Committee considering both equity and fixed- income strategies for the company. Prior to joining Smith Shellnut in 2005, Frank worked as a Wealth Management Portfolio Analyst for BankPlus in Ridgeland, MS. He received his undergraduate degree from Delta State University and an M.B.A. from Millsaps College with a concentration in Finance and Marketing. In 2012 Frank earned his CFA designation.
Brittany joined Smith Shellnut as an Operations Specialist in February 2013. Her duties include reconciling SSW’s core accounting system, facilitating execution and settlement of fixed income trades, and processing monthly and quarterly client reports. Brittany received a B.S. in Mathematics and an M.Ed from Delta State University.
Prior to joining Smith Shellnut in January 2014, Belinda Arnold Fields was employed in the financial services industry for more than 27 years. Her investment career began with Deposit Guaranty National Bank where she was Federal Funds Trader and Money Desk Manager, servicing corporate clients and community banks, while transacting federal funds, repurchase agreements, and securities lending with national and international banking institutions. Belinda joined the organizing team of BancorpSouth Investment Services, and became a licensed general securities representative and municipal bond principal. As a Vice- President, she served as the fixed-income securities trader for the six-state sales force of that company for 10 years. Belinda also has more than four years’ experience in cash management services. An honor graduate, Belinda holds both a B.B.A. in Banking and Finance and an M.B.A. from Mississippi State University.
Brian began his work with Smith Shellnut in May 2005 as an intern. He currently serves as an Operations Specialist and Investment Analyst. His duties include handling portfolio and municipal bond analytics as well as SSW’s core accounting system, trade flow and order management. Brian received his B.S. in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance from Mississippi College, where he was a President’s List Scholar, maintaining a 4.0 GPA, with an overall GPA of 3.95.
Prior to joining Smith Shellnut Wilson in 2009, Alan Leach served in the financial services industry for more than 35 years. His investment career began with SouthTrust Bank in fixed income sales, working with banks and individuals, and then as Money Desk Manager. He later worked in trading and management positions with Morgan Keegan and First Tennessee Bank’s First Securities Company in Mobile division. He then joined Deposit Guaranty National Bank as Senior Vice President and Manager of the Bond Department. In 1995, he was named President of Deposit Guaranty Investments, Inc. After Deposit Guaranty was acquired, Alan moved to BancorpSouth as President of BancorpSouth Investment Services, Inc., where he built its full service brokerage unit from inception to a six-state, 22-office organization. Alan is a graduate of the University of Alabama and holds an M.B.A. from the University of Alabama – Birmingham.
Michael began his career at Smith Shellnut as a portfolio analyst in 2007. Since then, he has taken on the additional roles of Chief Technology Officer and Director of the Internship Program. He uses his skillset to create value, maximize growth and improve the business performance of our clients. His background includes analysis of Collateralized Debt Obligations, fixed income portfolios and municipal bonds. Michael studied business at HKBU in Hong Kong, received a B.S. in Business Administration from Mississippi College and an M.B.A. from the Else School of Management at Millsaps College. Michael is a member of the National Society of Compliance Professionals.
Sherri joined Smith Shellnut in 2006 and currently serves as an administrative assistant providing clerical and analytical support for the investment department. Prior to joining SSW she was employed as a real estate paralegal in Syracuse, New York. Sherri is committed to superior customer service and her many years of administrative experience make her a valuable asset to SSW.
Lynn Pierce joined Smith Shellnut in 2005, after having been employed by Guaranty Bank & Trust Company in Belzoni, Mississippi for 26 years. Her most recent position at the bank was Assistant Vice President and Operations Manager. She has a wealth of operational experience in a financial setting. Lynn is currently responsible for the daily operational needs of our non-bank, high net-worth and retirement plan clients. Lynn graduated from Mississippi School of Banking, a two-year program held at the University of Mississippi.
Brandy joined Smith Shellnut Wilson in 2008. Prior to her association with Smith Shellnut, Brandy was employed with Heritage Banking Group where she was the Administrative Officer primarily responsible for Asset / Liability Management, Financial Reporting, Product Development and Budget. She also worked as the Interest Rate Risk Manager for Trustmark National Bank, where she supervised ALM and FTP analytics in the Treasury Administration Division. Brandy also worked in the Corporate Planning Division, which dealt with Strategic Planning, Mergers and Acquisitions, and Investor Relations. Brandy received a B.B.A. in Managerial Finance from the University of Mississippi and an M.B.A. from Millsaps College.
Bob Shearer joined Smith Shellnut in 2016 after retiring as a partner from BKD, LLP in Jackson where he had served as the industry leader for BKD’s financial institutions practice in Mississippi. Bob was a founding partner of Shearer Taylor & Co. P.A., which merged with BKD in 2008. He has 40 years’ experience in public accounting and spent the majority of his career focused on serving and assisting financial institutions of all sizes. At SSW, Bob assists our financial institutions team in portfolio management and asset-liability management and is available to both our management team and our clients to provide keen insight into the problems and opportunities currently facing financial institutions. Bob is a graduate of Mississippi State University with a B.S. in Mathematics and an M.B.A.