Who We Are  |   Leadership  |   Gerald Ford

Gerald Ford

Hilltop Holdings

As Chairman of Hilltop Holdings, Mr. Ford provides strategic direction for Hilltop and its operating companies, including growth initiatives, mergers, and acquisitions.

Career Highlights

  • One of the nation’s most accomplished financial services executives
  • Hilltop Holdings’ largest shareholder
  • Has acquired, managed, and operated holding companies, banks, and other financial services companies for more than 40 years, primarily in the Southwest
  • Led initial investment in Hilltop’s predecessor company, Affordable Residential Communities
  • Acquired and consolidated 30 commercial banks from 1975 to 1993, forming First United Bank Group, Inc, a multi-bank holding company for which he served as chairman and CEO until its sale to Norwest Corporation (now Wells Fargo) in 1994
  • Led investment consortiums that acquired numerous financial institutions, forming in succession First Gibraltar Bank, FSB; First Madison Bank, FSB; and First Nationwide Bank
  • Served as chairman and CEO of First Gibraltar, overseeing its growth into the largest thrift institution and fourth-largest financial institution in Texas and Oklahoma
  • As chairman and CEO of First Gibraltar, provided oversight for the orderly sale of assets, deposits, branches, and mortgage company to various acquirers including Bank of America and Chase Manhattan Bank in 1992 and 1993
  • Served as chairman and CEO of First Nationwide Bank and led the expansion of its platform through the acquisition of various federal savings banks in California, as well as additional branches, mortgage servicing portfolios, and auto finance companies from 1994 to 1998
  • Served as chairman and CEO of Golden State Bancorp from 1998 to 2002, overseeing its growth to the second-largest thrift institution in the United States with more than 350 branches in California and Nevada, until its sale to Citigroup in November 2002


  • B.A. in Economics, Southern Methodist University
  • J.D., Southern Methodist University School of Law

Current Affiliations

  • Diamond A-Ford Corporation, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
  • Ford Financial Fund II, L.P. co-managing partner
  • Ford Financial Fund III, L.P. co-managing partner
  • Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold Inc., Chairman
  • Mechanics Bank, Director
  • Southern Methodist University, Trustee
  • Southern Methodist University School of Law, Executive Board member
  • Southwestern Medical Foundation, Trustee
  • Children’s Medical Foundation, Trustee

Past Affiliations

  • Pacific Capital Bancorp, Chairman
  • First Acceptance Corporation, Director
  • SWS Group, Inc., Director
  • Scientific Games Corporation, Director
  • Board of Overseers of Weill Medical College and Graduate School of Medical Sciences of Cornell University, Member
  • McMoRan Exploration Co., Director
years in financial services
years leading Hilltop Holdings
year supporter of Southern Methodist University
"In my experience, effort will trump intellect. I know no one who is successful that hasn’t made a huge effort."
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