Prosperity ready to step up, serve community

Editor, the Advocate:

I read with interest your recent editorial on Prosperity's merger with First Victoria National Bank. We are very excited about this event.

As you noted, First Victoria is a "strong bank with a community focus." Our merger will carry that focus forward. As I am sure you are aware, Prosperity has had a major presence in the Victoria market through our merger in 2005 with FirstCapital Bank. Our Victoria and Crossroads Senior Chairman Steve Hipes is a longtime resident and career banker in the Victoria banking scene. Steve and Bob Kuhn, chairman of Prosperity's South Texas area, have been a part of Prosperity since 2005.

Through the merger with First Victoria, Prosperity gains the skills and insights of Russell Marshall, who has become chairman of Prosperity's newly established Wealth Management Division, and John Zacek, president of our South Texas area. They, with Steve and Bob, make up a strong senior management group with deep roots in the Victoria market. Other key players now a part of Prosperity include Ken Vickers, who will serve on our executive loan committee; Royce Moran, who is regional president for Victoria; and Buddy Billups and Kelly Parks, who have joined our Wealth Management Division. All of these bankers have a long history in your market.

Prosperity has a rich tradition of embracing the tenants and heritage of the banks with which we have merged, and we will continue this tradition with First Victoria.

As I am sure you are aware, Prosperity's focus has always been on its many local markets and the people who make up those markets. Each of our banking centers is staffed by decision makers with strong ties to their communities, i.e. real bankers, not absentee owners. This is a rather unique approach to banking and has served Prosperity and its customers well since the bank was founded in 1983 in Edna.

Someone once commented that Prosperity is just another big bank - I can confidently respond that Prosperity is the big bank with your community's bank inside. And we will be here in Victoria with this commitment always in mind.

David Zalman, Chairman and CEO Prosperity Bancshares Inc., El Campo