Former MidSouth chief named CFO of Oconee in Georgia

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It didn't take long for Jim McLemore to find a new job.

McLemore, who orchestrated MidSouth Bancorp's sale to Hancock Whitney in September, was named chief financial officer at Oconee Financial in Watkinsville, Ga. The $356 million-asset parent of Oconee State Bank said in a Monday press release that the appointment was effective immediately.

"Jim has a unique mix of exceptional experience, high character, and an authentic sense of humility,” Neil Stevens, Oconee's president and CEO, said in the release.

“Jim is well known and highly respected within banking circles across the Southeast, and we look forward to having his perspective as we continue our plans to remain independent and foster strategic growth," Stevens added.

McLemore, who has been CFO at several banks, became CEO of the $1.7 billion-asset MidSouth when the company's board abruptly fired founder Rusty Cloutier in April 2017. McLemore raised capital, unloaded energy credits, sold and closed branches and sliced MidSouth’s quarterly dividend.

Under his leadership, energy loans fell from nearly a fifth of MidSouth’s overall portfolio in early 2017 to less than 13% when its sale to Hancock closed in late September.

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