Morrell McCaskill is not only Queensborough National Bank & Trust’s new Statesboro market president, he also serves as the company’s wealth planner for clients in the local market.
“You know, we’ve been trained to think in silos for so long in the banking world, and everybody had their financial advisor separate from their banker,” McCaskill, a licensed financial advisor, said in an interview Thursday.
“What we’ve found, in a recent survey from Forbes magazine, is that 77 percent of bank clients say that they go to their banker for financial advice; they go to their bank,” he said. “(But) only 23 percent think they get it, and that’s a big opportunity for us.”
With its Queensborough Wealth Planning arm, the company offers “managed portfolios, 401(k)s, IRAs, normal brokerage services, life insurance, long-term care insurance, retirement planning and financial planning,” besides all of the traditional banking services, he said.
On the job since June 1, McCaskill is new to Queensborough and also new to working in Statesboro, but he knows Statesboro well. Originally from Albany, he came here to attend Georgia Southern University and graduated with his Bachelor of Business Administration in finance in 2007.
Straight out of college he went to work for Wachovia Bank in Savannah as a financial specialist. That hybrid job included responsibilities as a loan officer, relationship manager for deposits and also handling some investments, he said. McCaskill remained with Wachovia through its acquisition by Wells Fargo, serving a total of seven years, concluding as a regional private banker.
Then for the last four years, also in Savannah, he worked with Synovus Securities as a financial advisor to clients.
During his 11 years working in Savannah, McCaskill maintained close ties to Statesboro. He and his wife reside in the Black Creek community of Bryan County.
A physician assistant, Juli McCaskill works at Emanuel Medical Center in Swainsboro and so has a longer commute than her banker husband. Building or buying a home near Statesboro is part of their plans, and he said they also hope to build a family here.
Many of their friends live here, and the McCaskills already had made Statesboro a frequent weekend destination. He has been an official Georgia Southern Booster since soon after he graduated and attends Eagles games in multiple sports.
Morrell McCaskill even had a hand in helping relaunch the Statesboro Jaycees while he was a member of the Savannah Jaycees and its advisory board. He said he is excited about getting involved with the Jaycees here. Now 34, he has a few years yet for this civic organization for people up to age 40.
He also attended recent meetings of the Home Builders Association of Statesboro, of which the bank is a member, and the Blue Mile Committee. Queensborough’s Statesboro bank at 201 S. Main St. occupies a central spot in the Blue Mile, for which the committee has a prize-winning redevelopment plan.
“And so I’m very familiar with the local economy, the local business atmosphere, and I’m very excited to get as much involved in it as I possibly can,” McCaskill said.
When asked about his philosophy of banking, McCaskill cited GSU College of Business faculty members William Wells, Ph.D., and now retired Edward Sibbald, MIA/MBA, as mentors from his college years.
“I recognized pretty early on that a community bank really is truly a backbone to a community like Statesboro,” McCaskill said. “You know, when somebody decides to invest their hard-earned assets and their time and their blood, sweat and tears into a business, they have to count on a community bank to give them the financing that they need to get going and to support them, and without the small businesses, Statesboro wouldn’t be what it is.”
$1 billion bank
Queensborough is one of at least 10 banking companies with a brick-and-mortar presence in Bulloch County. With $1.1 billion in assets, Queensborough is certainly not the smallest of these, but the largest are much bigger. Wells Fargo, for example, concluded 2017 with reported assets of $1.95 trillion. That’s trillion.
“We have all the capacities these other banks do, but because it’s such a small bank you really do have a much higher concern for your rural market and small business client that you might not get as much from the bigger banks,” McCaskill said.
Although it has only one branch in Statesboro, Queensborough operates more than 25 locations from Louisville to Augusta and Savannah, including towns around Statesboro such as Metter, Millen, Rincon, Swainsboro and Sylvania. McCaskill’s responsibility as president includes just the Statesboro location.
Queensborough National Bank & Trust is based in Louisville, where it was founded in 1902. The company was still called First National Bank and Trust when it opened a branch in Statesboro, originally at a different location, in 1996. But in 2006 the bank adopted the more distinctive name of its holding company. It was named for Queensborough, an Irish immigrant township that existed in Jefferson County in the mid-1700s.
As Queensborough’s Statesboro market president, McCaskill succeeds Jeremy Ragan, who left in March and is now president of Laurens County Capital City Bank in Dublin.