The board of directors of Liberty Shares, Inc. and The Heritage Bank accepted the retirement of James M. Floyd Jr. as president and chief executive officer of the bank at a meeting Thursday.
His retirement was effective Friday. He will remain on the board for Liberty Shares and the bank has entered into a consulting agreement with Floyd, according to a news release.
A lifelong resident of Liberty County, Floyd has served as chairman and chief executive officer of the bank since 1996. His banking career spans 24 years. Floyd also served as chairman of the board and bank.
“I am proud of being part of building this bank and what the bank has been able to achieve to help our communities,” Floyd said. “The skill set that all banks require today to work through loans and generally deal with the unprecedented economic crisis are a different set of skills. I intend to remain on the holding company board and to help the bank in any way I can, but I also felt it was imperative for the bank to focus on these problem loans rather than worrying about Jim Floyd.”
“Jim is one of the best bankers in Southeast Georgia. He helped build this bank to extraordinary heights and helped each community that we provide services to. It was his decision to step aside, and personally, I would prefer that he had stayed” said J. Noel Osteen, one of the longest serving board members. “However, he felt it was the right time to move on, recognizing that his greatest strength was the vision and leadership for growth, which is not what the bank needs right now.”
The board also announced that Brian L. Smith has been named acting president and chief executive officer as well as chairman of the board and bank. Smith began his banking career at The Heritage Bank in 1978, and has served as executive vice president of the bank since 1996. Smith’s appointment is pending regulatory non-objection.
Heritage operates 32 branches throughout Southeast Georgia. Liberty Shares is the holding company for the bank and its investments subsidiary, The Heritage Group.