On September 11, Houston-based Gulf Capital Bank announced that Downey Bridgwater has joined the bank as chief executive officer. He succeeds Ed Jones, who will remain executive chairman and chief development officer.
Bridgwater joins Gulf Capital Bank with more than 43 years in the banking industry. He began his banking career with Allied Bank in 1978 (acquired by First Interstate Bank) before going on to serve as senior vice president of corporate banking at Charter Bank (acquired by Nations Bank). From there, he became president, CEO and chairman of Sterling Bank and Sterling Bancshares Inc., for which he is credited with growing assets from $1 billion to more than $5 billion. The bank was eventually acquired by Comerica Bank. Most recently, Bridgwater served as Comerica Bank’s president of the Houston market.
A prominent name in the Houston business community, Bridgwater has served on numerous boards, including the Greater Houston Partnership, board of visitors at the University of Houston, deans’ advisory board at the Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston and the Harris County Housing Finance Corp. He is the past chairman of the board of Texas Medical Center and is currently a life director.
“Downey’s wealth of experience in the industry is unmatched,” Jones says. “I’m confident that [he] will bring the talent, experience and energy necessary to successfully grow the bank to $1 billion in assets and beyond.”
Established in 2019, Gulf Capital Bank currently has one branch in Houston.