TUPELO – Ending months of speculation following a national search process, the board of directors of The Peoples Holding Company, Tupelo, elected Robinson
McGraw president and chief executive officer of The Peoples Holding Company and its subsidiary, The Peoples Bank & Trust Company, Sept. 22nd.
McGraw succeeds John W. Smith, 65, who is retiring Oct. 31 after 29 years of service with Peoples, the last seven as president and CEO.
According to chairman Robert Leake, the board of directors commissioned the search June through September of this year, through the management-recruiting firm of
Russell Reynolds Associates Inc. of Atlanta.
McGraw will be the eighth president in the 96-year history of the bank, which was chartered in February 1904. He will officially assume duties of the office on Nov. 1,
and the transition is currently underway, according to bank officials.
Analysts who cover the company did not have any immediate reaction to the announcement, although several Tupelo community leaders were positive.
“Robin is an excellent choice, he is well-respected in the banking profession and in the community,” said Harry Baxter, BancorpSouth vice chairman. “I would expect
that Robin would provide excellent leadership for the bank.”
Lewis Whitfield, president of Merchants & Farmers Bank in Tupelo agreed. “I`ve known Robin for 25 years and believe he will be very committed to doing an
While McGraw did not provide any specific changes or strategic goals at this time, he said that he would delineate his vision for the company later this fall.
McGraw, 54, has served as executive vice president, in-house counsel since 1998. A native of Winston County, he graduated from Louisville High School. He earned
a BBA degree in banking and finance from the University of Mississippi in 1969 and subsequently received his law degree from the Ole Miss Law School.
He began his banking career in 1969 as assistant trust examiner with the U. S. Treasury Department, Office of Comptroller of the Currency in Atlanta and thereafter
served in the Estate Planning Division of First National Bank, Birmingham. He joined Peoples in 1974 serving as trust officer and senior trust officer until 1993 when
he became executive vice president and headquarters operations group manager. In 1998, he was promoted to his current position.
During his tenure with Peoples, McGraw has served on the American Bankers Association’s American Institute of Banking board of directors and as an AIB
instructor. He has been chairman of various Mississippi Bankers Association committees including trust, salary survey, personnel and member of the bank attorneys
committee. He has also served on the MBA banking and insurance task force.
His civic and church affiliations include membership in the Lee County and American Bar Associations; Community Development Foundation board of directors,
industrial and membership committees; Tupelo Kiwanis Club, past president; First United Methodist Church, administrative board, and past church treasurer; Tupelo
Artists Guild, board of directors; Boys and Girls Club of Lee County, board of directors; Mississippi Economic Council, graduate of Leadership Mississippi program
and served in various MEC leadership capacities.
McGraw is married to the former Mimi Threldkeld. The McGraws have two sons, Jim, 21, and Ned, 14.
Making the announcement, chairman Leake said: “The selection of Robin McGraw by the board of directors underscores our confidence in his ability to build on the
successes of current and previous administrations and to lead our company to higher levels of customer satisfaction and value for shareholders. He has the support,
vision, commitment and leadership skills necessary to achieve these goals. This institution has benefited immeasurably from the untiring, effective leadership of John
Smith who, in seven years, has brought Peoples from $707 million in assets to Mississippi’s fourth largest bank based in the state with assets of $1.2 billion. We will
miss his daily counsel, but will continue to benefit from his service on the board of directors where he has been a member since 1978.”
Contact MBJ contributing writer Karen Kahler Holliday at firstname.lastname@example.org or (601) 364-1018.