Led by West Texas native and highly regarded banker Gerald J. Ford, Hilltop Holdings Inc. officially entered the competitive Texas banking industry in December 2012 with the acquisition of PlainsCapital Corporation, a diversified financial services company with three operating companies: PlainsCapital Bank, FirstSouthwest (under PlainsCapital Corporation at the time of acquisition) and PrimeLending. The PlainsCapital acquisition transformed Hilltop’s strategic direction by giving it the opportunity to own a financial institution with a proven track record of success while equipping PlainsCapital with additional capital for future growth.
Hilltop Holdings was founded in 1998 under the name Affordable Residential Communities Inc. (ARC) as a real estate investment trust (REIT) specializing in manufactured home communities. The company completed an initial public offering in 2004. In 2005, Gerald J. Ford, current Hilltop Holdings chairman, invested in ARC and joined the company’s board of directors.
In 2006, ARC revoked its election as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes and announced the acquisition of National Lloyds Corporation (formerly NLASCO), a property and casualty insurance underwriter for low value dwellings.
In 2007, the company sold all of the assets used in its manufactured home communities business for $1.8 billion and changed its name to Hilltop Holdings Inc. In 2011, Hilltop made a $50 million loan to SWS Group, Inc., a Dallas-based financial services company offering retail brokerage, institutional brokerage, clearing services and banking.
With approximately $600 million in cash mainly from the sale of the manufactured home business, Hilltop began pursuing opportunities to acquire an attractive banking institution. PlainsCapital’s financial strength and stability, experienced leadership, diversified business, strong Texas roots and national footprint made it a good fit for Hilltop. The PlainsCapital Corporation acquisition closed on November 30, 2012.
Founded in 1987 by Alan B. White, PlainsCapital Corporation has a long history of consistent financial growth. Under White’s leadership, PlainsCapital successfully acquired and integrated its three subsidiaries. White was also instrumental in developing PlainsCapital’s recognizable and sophisticated brand.
Outside of the merger with PlainsCapital Corporation, Hilltop has also executed the acquisition of First National Bank of Edinburg in 2013, SWS Group in 2015 and The Bank of River Oaks in 2018. In 2020, Hilltop completed the sale of National Lloyds Corporation and its subsidiaries to Align Financial Holdings, LLC. Today, Hilltop Holdings offers a diverse range of services through its three primary subsidiaries, PlainsCapital Bank, PrimeLending, and HilltopSecurities. PlainsCapital Bank is a leading commercial bank with locations throughout Texas. PrimeLending is a national mortgage provider focused on purchase mortgage originations. HilltopSecurities provides financial advisory, clearing, retail brokerage, and other investment banking services.