Benchmark Bank’s Blog - Category: “Benchmark Bank News”

5-Star Rating

| Benchmark Bank News, Public Relations

5-Star Rating

Benchmark Bank is proud to announce that in 2011, we earned Bauer Financial’s 5-star “Superior” rating for all 3 reporting periods. Benchmark Bank has been recommended by Bauer as either a 4-star (in 2010) or 5-star (in 2011) institution for 7 consecutive quarters in a row. It is a great honor to be called “one of the strongest financial institutions in the nation” by a premier independent rating firm.

BauerFinancial has been reporting on and analyzing the performance of U.S. banks and credit unions since 1983. Ratings are independent. No institution has ever paid Bauer to rate it, nor can any choose to be excluded.

For more details, please see the attached press release or visit Bauer Financial.

Year End Report

| Benchmark Bank News, Public Relations

This was an email our Charmain & CEO, Mike Barnett, sent to all employees last week:

I hope you all had a great Christmas and a Happy New Year with your family and friends.

I am proud to announce that in 2011, the Benchmark companies made a combined $7,606,154.22. It was another Outstanding year for our group, and I want to personally thank each one of you for contributing to our success.

AMC Correspondent had a great year. They purchased 10,906 loans in 2011 and volume reached 1.926 billion in total production, which is awesome considering the overall decrease in volume within the industry. The Correspondent group earned over 2 million in the fourth quarter – their best quarter of the year – and $2,398,310 total for the year despite a slow start. I want to congratulate the AE’s that gathered the business and the staff that always turns the loans in a timely manner. The secondary group did a great job of balancing our risk and locking our profits. I want to recognize the leadership team of Dan, Jason, Meredith and Todd for another exceptional year for AMC Correspondent. The Correspondent group currently has 107 employees, and I am very proud of the job that each one of them is doing.

AMC Retail ended the year with a combined profit of $80,432. Congratulations to Kelly Malatesta for being our top producer for the second year in a row! We are excited that AMC Retail is now under the leadership of Todd Potter, a former account executive for AMC Correspondent. One of the first things Todd did in his new role of National Sales Manager was add a Southeast Regional Manager, Mike Harley. Mike helped AMC Retail open two new branches in the fourth quarter – one in Augusta, Georgia and one in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. We look forward to watching this business continue to grow in 2012. Thanks to our loan officers, underwriters, processors, closers and assistants who did a great job handling all of the loan volume this year.

Benchmark Title recently opened its new Commercial Headquarters in Uptown Dallas. We are very proud of this new space and think it will be a big advantage having exam, escrow and marketing working together in one office. Due to increased overhead and costs associated with this new location, Benchmark Title was negative for the year. However, we feel that with additions made in 2011 to our commercial marketing and support team, we are in the best shape we have ever been. I also want to recognize the outstanding work done by our residential closing teams in Plano and the Park Cities.

Benchmark Bank had another excellent year, earning 1.5 million in the fourth quarter and $5,284,644 for the year. In the fourth quarter, Benchmark received two honors of which I am very proud – we were named the 7th fastest growing company in North Texas (SMU Cox School of Business/Dallas Business Journal), and we were voted BY OUR OWN FABULOUS EMPLOYEES one of the Top 100 Places to Work in DFW (Dallas Morning News). The Bank currently has 360 million in total assets. Congratulations to Mac, Kay and the entire mortgage warehouse staff for exceeding 1 billion in loans purchased in November 2011. Thanks to everyone at the bank for the great job you do – I love hearing our customers brag about you all. Benchmark Bank looks forward to another exceptional year in 2012 as we aim to open two new branches by the fourth quarter – one in Austin under the leadership of Rusty Edgar and one in Uptown very close to our new Title location.



Congratulations Rusty and Wendy!

| Benchmark Bank News

We are excited to announce the following well-deserved promotions effective January 1:

Rusty Edgar has been promoted to Austin-area President and Chief Credit Officer of Benchmark Bank. Rusty and his family moved to Austin about a year ago to begin working on a new Benchmark Bank retail branch. Rusty has found the perfect location, at the corner of Lamar and MLK, which is being finished out now. As we await FDIC approval for this new branch, Rusty continues to move forward with preparations for Benchmark Bank Austin, which will hopefully open in 2012. Rusty will also serve as our Chief Credit Officer and will assist everyone in the lending function as the go-to person for any loan questions/issues. January 2012 will mark Rusty’s 9th year at Benchmark, and we are confident of his leadership ability and knowledge in these roles.

Wendy Skorburg has been promoted to Senior Vice President in charge of Risk Management. Wendy will be heading up the Compliance and Audit teams. We are confident that Wendy’s skills and leadership in this area will be extremely valuable to the bank as we all work hard to make Compliance a top priority.

We know that David Crockett would be so proud that Rusty and Wendy are taking over these functions that he used to lead us in.

We are so fortunate to have such an exceptional group of employees, and we look forward to another great year in 2012!

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