Features

Cydney Archie – Cadence Bank

Bank’s legal counsel finds her ‘Cadence’ practicing in financial services

Cydney Archie says she wanted to practice law in the financial services industry because it would offer varied opportunities to learn about how law and business intersect.

“The role at Cadence Bank was attractive to me because I knew I’d get exposure to varying areas of financial services and learn from colleagues and get great mentoring,” says Archie, the vice president and associate general counsel.

Cydney Archie | Vice President and Associate General Counsel | Cadence Bank

Cydney Archie | Vice President and Associate General Counsel | Cadence Bank

So far, supporting M&A as Cadence Bank merged with a competitor in 2021 and helping with negotiations for naming rights at a venue in Texas are part of her education at the bank. Cadence Bank has more than $50 billion in assets and operates in nine states in the Southeast and Gulf Coast regions.

Her in-house work is a marked departure from the public sector roles she previously held, but Archie says she keeps true to certain traits no matter what areas of law she may practice.

“I’m a trusted attorney and counselor,” Archie says. “I provide sound legal judgment to my client while offering practical solutions. I’m passionate about the work I do and I enjoy adding value to the company.”

Regional reach

When Archie joined Cadence Bank in August 2018, she worked with the wealth management, mortgage, marketing, IT and vendor management departments. She advised bank executives on matters of contracts to ensure the bank’s rights are protected. She drafted and negotiated   employment agreements, technology contracts, leases, nondisclosures and other vendor related contracts.

Then came the 2021 merger as Cadence Bancorporation merged into BancorpSouth Bank. It was announced in April that year and the deal closed in October. BancorpSouth was renamed Cadence Bank and is the fifth-largest bank in the region with dual headquarters in Tupelo, Mississippi, and Houston.

Archie contributed to the merger process by serving on integration work groups created to help merge the two companies. These groups included legal, insurance risk management, collections and special assets group, and diversity, inclusion and equity. She supported the groups by identifying legal and compliance risks and evaluating policies and procedures to help the transition to a new, larger bank.

“Having the opportunity to work on M&A added to my skills so that I have been able to better serve the bank,” Archie says. “I had an inside view of what is required internally to merge two companies. This is a perspective that people on the outside typically do not get to see.”

What’s in a name?

As Archie chatted with Vanguard in May, Cadence Bank had just completed a 10-year, $2.8 million agreement with Bell County Commissioners in Texas to rename the Bell County EXPO Center in Belton as the Cadence Bank Center. Archie reviewed and negotiated the agreement for the bank, assessing risks related to failure to perform, insurance and brand management.

Archie is expanding her work into corporate governance and data privacy and works with Cadence Bank’s teams on compliance policies and procedures. She reviews complaints and issues raised by regulators or customers while helping find resolutions before disputes reach a courtroom.

Cydney Archie | Vice President and Associate General Counsel | Cadence Bank

She also manages the bank’s annual insurance renewal to ensure the bank has proper insurance coverage. Archie collaborates with executive management and provides guidance on how to limit or reduce losses against certain types of risks. She also developed the procedures for Cadence Bank’s annual insurance renewals for property and casualty, and liability insurance policies.

Archie also oversees some litigation matters and is the liaison between the bank and outside counsel and manages the annual budget for cases she’s working with.

“Having in-house counsel who understands the law and inner workings of the company is important as we make strategic decisions,” she says.

Making a community impact

Growing up in Brandon, Mississippi, Archie didn’t aspire to become an attorney until she attended Mississippi University for Women.

“I have always been passionate about community service and giving back in what ways I could. As I began to explore my career options, I thought law was a good way to have an impact,” she says.

While in law school, Archie served as an extern for the Mississippi Supreme Court. After earning her J.D. in 2015, she served as a judicial law clerk for Justices Dawn Beam and Randy G. Pierce of that court.

In June 2016, Archie became a staff attorney for the Jackson Public School District, in Jackson, Mississippi, one of the state’s largest public school systems. She provided legal advice and counsel for the superintendent and administrative staff, represented the district in due process hearings and handled compliance matters.

Archie then joined the Mississippi Center for Legal Services Corp. in December 2017 as a staff attorney, representing victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. She joined Cadence Bank in August 2018.

The merger with BancorpSouth led to Archie moving from Mississippi to Texas in 2022. She says she’d always wanted to live in a big city, but one of her favorite ways to spend her leisure time is working at a community garden. She’s a member of the Junior League of Houston and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and serves on the board for the Boys & Girls Club of North Mississippi.

Representing Cadence Bank is both challenging and fulfilling to Archie because it’s part of a highly regulated industry where she’s able to make an impact.

“There are a lot more parties that are affected by what I do now. I enjoy the work environment at Cadence Bank and I’m proud to be able to contribute to the bank,” Archie says.

View this feature in the Vanguard Summer II 2023 Edition here.

Published on: June 20, 2023

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