When William G. Perkins ran trust sales for the lead bank of Louisiana's First Commerce Corp.'s, he organized a referral system under which lenders referred clients to trust officers. Now, he plans to bring a similar strategy to First Commerce's retail brokers.

"My No. 1 plan is to integrate the delivery of our full services to the banks and into the overall client relationship process," Mr. Perkins said.

This month, Mr. Perkins was named president of Marquis Investments, the brokerage unit of Louisiana's First Commerce.

An $8.4 billion-asset banking company, First Commerce owns six banks in Louisiana that tap into the brokerage, which is a subsidiary of its lead bank, First National Bank of Commerce. The other banks are City National Bank of Baton Rouge, First National Bank of Lafayette, First National Bank of Lake Charles, Rapides Bank and Trust of Alexandria, and Central Bank of Monroe.

Marquis - which had approximately $7.5 million in revenues last year - primarily serves First Commerce's existing clients. Yet, after attending customer focus group meetings last week, the new president says he needs to make more of the banks' customers aware of the full-service brokerage.

"It was an eye-opener for me to sit with existing (bank) clients and realize they don't know us," Mr. Perkins said, referring to Marquis.

Marquis' revenues are expected to top $9 million this year, with $12.2 million targeted for 1997, according to Mr. Perkins.

Mr. Perkins, 42, was officially named president of Marquis this month in New Orleans by First Commerce's president, Ian Arnof. But since the summer, he had been acting as "president-elect" while waiting to receive three different brokers' licenses.

At Marquis, Mr. Perkins replaced Dale Kaliszeski, who left in July to go to a local venture capital firm, Frantzen/Voelker Investments LLC. Mr. Kaliszeski helped select his replacement, casting one of the go-ahead votes for Mr. Perkins.

"Bill was really a perfect candidate because he started out at A.G. Edwards and then went to trust," Mr. Kaliszeski said. "He has both experiences, so he was the best choice."

The seven Marquis funds, which total approximately $1.2 billion in client assets, are managed by First NBC's trust department.

Mr. Perkins joins the brokerage just as several additions are being made to the Marquis fund menu. These include a tax-exempt fixed annuity, as well as one growth stock fund and one tax-exempt mutual fund that were introduced this summer. International, small cap, and corporate bond portfolios are slated to open next year.

The Marquis brokerage also sells mutual funds from AIM Management Group, Van Kampen American Capital, Fidelity Advisors, Federated Investors and GT Global Financial Services and unit investment trusts from John Nuveen & Co..

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