Mr. Ford is a banking and financial institutions entrepreneur who has been involved in numerous mergers and acquisitions of private and public sector financial institutions, primarily in the Southwestern United States, over the past 40 years.
Mr. Ford is the Chairman of the Board of Hilltop Holdings Inc., a position he has held since 2007, as well as the largest shareholder. Mr. Ford joined Hilltop in 2005 as a director. He also served as interim Chief Executive Officer of Hilltop from January 1, 2010 until March 11, 2010.
Gerald J. Ford is one of the nation’s most accomplished financial services executives. He has acquired, managed and operated banking businesses and other financial services companies for over 40 years.
In 1975, Mr. Ford purchased a controlling interest in his first bank, First National Bank of Post, Texas with $25 million in total assets. Over the next 18 years, Mr. Ford acquired 19 banks, ultimately forming First United Bank Group, Inc. as a public multi-bank holding company with approximately $4.0 billion in total assets. In 1994, Norwest Corporation (now Wells Fargo & Co.) acquired First United Bank Group.
In 1988, Mr. Ford partnered with MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings, Inc. to form First Gibraltar Bank, FSB (“First Gibraltar”). First Gibraltar acquired all the assets and certain liabilities of eight insolvent thrifts and a mortgage banking operation from the Federal Savings & Loan Insurance Corporation and the Resolution Trust Corporation. While Mr. Ford served as the Chairman and CEO, First Gibraltar became the largest thrift and fourth largest financial institution in Texas and Oklahoma. During 1992 and 1993, First Gibraltar performed an orderly sale of assets, deposits, branches, and its mortgage company to various acquirers, including Bank of America and Chase Manhattan Bank. Following these sales, First Gibraltar retained approximately $1 billion in assets and subsequently acquired First Nationwide Bank, FSB in 1994.
The strategic objective of the First Nationwide Bank platform was to build a leading regional banking presence in California through financial services acquisitions and organic growth. From 1994 to 1998, Mr. Ford, as Chairman and CEO, led the expansion of the platform by acquiring various federal savings banks in California, as well as additional branches, mortgage servicing portfolios, and auto finance companies. In 1998, Golden State Bancorp was created in connection with the Glendale Federal Bank acquisition. Mr. Ford was Chairman of the Board and CEO of Golden State Bancorp from 1998 until it was sold to Citigroup in November 2002. At the time of the Citigroup transaction, Golden State Bancorp was the second largest thrift in the United States with over 350 branches in California and Nevada.
He also is the former Chairman of the Board of First Acceptance Corporation; the former chairman of Pacific Capital Bancorp and Triad Financial Corporation. Mr. Ford also served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Southern Methodist University from 2002 to 2006. He is currently the Co-Managing Partner of Ford Financial Fund II, L.P., a private equity fund.
Mr. Ford serves as Non-Executive Chairman of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. He has served on the Freeport-McMoRan Board since 2000. He also serves as a director of Scientific Games Corp. and SWS Group, Inc. All of the above companies are listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Mr. Ford also serves as a Trustee and on the Trusteeship Committee at Southern Methodist University. He is on the Executive Board of SMU School of Law, is a Trustee of Southwestern Medical Foundation and Children’s Medical Foundation and is a member of the Board of Overseers of Weill Medical College and Graduate School of Medical Sciences of Cornell University.
B.A. in Economics from Southern Methodist University
J.D., Southern Methodist University School of Law