First Bancshares Acquiring The Mortgage Connection

The First Bancshares Inc., the holding company for The First, A National Banking Association, is acquiring The Mortgage Connection, a loan originator serving the Jackson, Miss., area, for an undisclosed sum.

Founded in 1997 by Margaret and Tony Byrd, the Mortgage Connection employs 14 mortgage loan originators and has offices located in Brandon and Madison, Miss.

Margaret Byrd has more than 30 years of experience in the mortgage industry and currently serves as secretary of the Mississippi Mortgage Bankers Association. In addition, she is a past president of the Mississippi Mortgage Brokers Association. She will join The First as senior vice president of mortgage banking.

‘This is a great opportunity for our bank to enter a fast-growing market,’ says M. Ray ‘Hoppy’ Cole, president and CEO of First Bancshares and The First, in a statement. ‘Expanding into the Jackson [area] is a natural fit within our strategy of developing a franchise in Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana.’

‘The Mortgage Connection is very excited to be joining The First,’ Byrd adds. ‘The bank brings additional strengths and opportunities that will greatly benefit our customers. We look forward to working with the existing management and staff of The First in building a superior mortgage division of the bank.’

The deal is expected to close in December.


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