Dallas-Based Texas Brand Bank Will Merge with 121-Year-Old Harmony Bank, and Take Its Name

Dallas-based and Dallas-grown, Texas Brand Bank was founded in 2005 and now has over $340 million in assets with five locations in Dallas and Garland, focusing on area small businesses and residents. With the pending merger, it will take on the name of Kemp, Texas-based Harmony Bank—which was formed in 1901, when horse-drawn wagons filled Dallas streets.

“The combination of our two financial institutions will allow us to double our lending limit and acquire additional digital banking options,” providing "greater service to current and future customers," says Texas Brand Bank's president and CEO.

A bank founded in Dallas in 2005—the year YouTube was born, in a time before iPhones and Twitter—is merging with a bank that’s even older. Much older.

Dallas-based Texas Brand Bank today announced a merger agreement with Harmony Bank, a community-focused bank serving North Texas that was originally founded in 1901—a year when horse-drawn wagons filled Dallas streets and the year’s biggest invention was the vacuum cleaner.

As a result of the merger—which is subject to shareholder and regulatory approval—Harmony Bank will merge “with and into” Texas Brand Bank, and the combined company will operate under the Harmony Bank name as a state-chartered bank.

Harmony Bank is expected to have over $700 million in assets, with 11 bank locations in Dallas, Ellis, Henderson, Kaufman, and Navarro counties.

Texas Brand Bank has focused on Dallas-area small businesses and residents

William Lowe, president and CEO of Texas Brand Bank, will now fill the same role for Harmony Bank. [Photo: Harmony Bank]

Dallas-based and Dallas-grown, Texas Brand Bank says it was created to provide banking services to “Dallas-area small businesses and residents.” In the 17 years since its founding, it’s grown to over $340 million in assets with five locations in Dallas and Garland, including banks in Uptown Dallas, Deep Ellum, The Cedars, and Oak Cliff’s Bishop Arts District.

Edward “Bubba” Tomlinson II, Texas Brand Bank’s chairman, says synergy will be a key outcome of the merger.

“Merging with Harmony Bank is synergistic for our teams, and we look forward to the benefits it will bring to our customers,” Tomlinson said in a statement. “We’re committed to maintaining the great personal service that our customers have come to expect from us.”

William E. Lowe, the president and CEO of Texas Brand Bank, will continue in the same role for Harmony Bank, the companies said. Tomlinson, Lowe, and two additional current directors of Texas Brand Bank will join the board of Harmony Bank.

“The combination of our two financial institutions will allow us to double our lending limit and acquire additional digital banking options, giving us the ability to provide greater service to current and future customers,” Lowe said in the statement.

Harmony Bank was founded by farmers, ranchers, and businessmen

John Carona, chair of Harmony Bank. [Photo: Harmony Bank]

Harmony Bank is based in Kemp, Texas, a Kaufman County town 45 miles southeast of downtown Dallas. It was founded 121 years ago by a group of farmers, ranchers, and businessmen as the First National Bank of Kemp, and has changed ownership over the years, most recently being purchased by the Carona family of Dallas in 2015. In July of this year, the bank merged with the First State Bank of Rice, increasing its total assets to over $350 million and leading to a combined entity name change to Harmony Bank.

“We realized that harmony has always been our goal in all our relationships,” the bank says of its name change on its website. “We know we can play a part in our communities to create better outcomes for those who live and work here. Our desire is to play a complementary part that is in harmony with the vision set by our customers and thereby help them achieve the goals they have for their households and businesses.”

Harmony Bank Chairman John Carona—a former Texas State Senator—said in a statement that ““Harmony Bank is committed to our new employees and customers and the communities where they live and work, and we look forward to this opportunity to welcome them to our banking family.”

“We’re excited about what this merger means for the future of Harmony Bank,” added Vidal Jones, president and CEO of Harmony Bank. “Joining together with a strong partner like Texas Brand Bank and the superb team they have in place is a great fit for us and serves to benefit our customers and team members alike.”

Texas Brand Bank just added a board member

Amanda Moreno-Lake is a new board member of Texas Brand Bank. [Photo: Texas Brand Bank]

On August 30, Texas Brand Bank announced the addition of Amanda Moreno-Lake to its board of directors, citing her work as “one of the driving forces behind the growth of the Bishop Arts District.”

“As someone with a long-standing history in the southern sector of Dallas, I understand how difficult it can be to obtain small business loans,” Moreno-Lake said in a statement at the time. “Texas Brand Bank has done an amazing job serving the needs of the business community in Oak Cliff and beyond. I look forward to joining the board to continue to build upon that commitment to entrepreneurs in Dallas and its surrounding areas.” 

Lowe said Moreno-Lake “brings extensive expertise and success as a business owner that will continue the momentum we’ve built in the community.” 

Moreno-Lake currently serves as president of redevelopment at Jim Lake Companies and is a partner in several investment partnerships. According to the bank, she previously completed the redevelopment of the downtown square in Waxahachie and is currently focusing on Oak Cliff Tower and the redevelopment of the downtown squares in Ennis and Cedar Hill.  

An entrepreneur herself—like many customers of Texas Brand Bank—Moreno-Lake has previously owned a range of businesses including a restaurant, hair salon, western wear store, and trucking company, the bank said.

She has served as chair of the planning committee for DART’s board of directors, and is also on the board of the Dallas Arboretum. She’s a Bishop Dunne Ambassador, co-founder of Mammogram Poster Girls, and past chair of the board for the Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce and the Fair Park Texas Foundation board.  

Merger advisors

Harmony Bank was advised in the merger by Chet Fenimore and Pam O’Quinn of Fenimore Kay Harrison, according to the companies. Texas Brand Bank was advised by Robert Flowers of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP and Tex Gross and Preston Simons of Commerce Street Capital.

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