Dr. James "Jim" Bexley
In Memoriam (January 11, 1934 - October 18, 2019)

October 2019

We observe the passing of Dr. James “Jim” Bexley, Smith-Hutson Endowed Chair of Banking, and Distinguished Professor of Finance at Sam Houston State University. His many honors include the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Texas Bankers Association, in recognition of his 35 years in banking. He served on both the executive and audit committees of the Federal Reserve Bank eleventh district board of directors. Banks throughout the United States sought his counsel and expertise. The largest private bank in China and a bank in Malawi, Africa, also turned to Mr. Bexley for advice. In honoring his memory, Sam Houston State University wrote, “With more than 40 years in senior management positions, Bexley applied his considerable experience and knowledge in the classroom, educating new generations of service-oriented banking professionals. During his tenure, he helped place more than 1,000 students in either internships or career positions in the industry.” He served as deacon and taught Sunday school at University Heights Baptist Church.

Southern Methodist University's SW Graduate School of Banking Announces 2019 Graduates

July 2019

Dallas, Texas—July 2019—The SW Graduate School of Banking, Southern Methodist University (SWGSB-SMU), held its 2019 commencement on June 6th for Class 60, the 60th class to fulfill the requirements of this graduate program renowned for its dynamic faculty, challenging curriculum, and exceptional student body from throughout the world. Jill Castilla, president and CEO, Citizens Bank of Edmond, and SWGSB Dean for Bankers, gave the commencement address; Dr. R. Gerald Turner, president of Southern Methodist University, was this year’s keynote speaker. The top graduates received more than $25,000 in merit-based scholarships during their three years at SWGSB/SMU.


Does Your Bank's Branching Strategy Need a Tune-up?

January 2019

Do you recall, several years ago, when you went to the airport and stood in line to see an agent to check in for your flight? I do, and I also remember when the kiosks appeared and I avoided them. Later, customer service agents began to "encourage" us to use the kiosks. I still avoided them until circumstances finally forced me to succumb to the automated check-in. To my delight, it was actually an improvement. The ensuing reduction in gate agents and greater reliance on automated check-ins have been going on in other industries for about ten years. I suggest the financial services industry would have likely followed suit if we had not been preoccupied, recovering from the 2008 financial crisis. Teaching our customers to self-serve, as the airline industry did, will save our industry billions of dollars in the long run.


Emerging Leaders Update: The Power of Education

July 2017

I always think about my time at the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at SMU during this time of year. While I was there, a group text message started between myself and several classmates. We started talking about all of the incredible experiences we had both in and out of the classroom. The bankers on this group text were from all over the place, including Scottsdale, AZ; Dallas, TX; College Station, TX, and Jonesboro, AR. After not having seen some of these classmates since we graduated back in 2006, I realized again just the power of education.