Jimmy Dunn on Giving Back
How the Senior Vice President and Private Client Group Manager Balances it All
If one was to describe Jimmy Dunn in a word, an easy choice might be: invested. Dunn is invested in his family, in his community, and certainly in his work.
“I enjoy being busy,” Dunn said, “and I love meeting new people.”
For Dunn, it’s always been this way. He credits much of how he got to where he is with his willingness to try new things — and some good luck.
A graduate of Washington & Lee University in Virginia, Dunn was interested in financial services coming out of college, so he joined the global investment firm Cambridge Associates in 2008. This gave him his first look into how the corporate world worked and made him realize he wanted to go back for more.
“Meeting a New Orleans girl — now my wife — made my choice to attend Tulane’s full-time business school a no-brainer when she indicated she was ready to move back home in 2012,” Dunn said. “Tulane’s MBA program offered an Energy Specialization, which opened my eyes to the world of Oil & Gas Investment banking.”
Moving to the city with his now wife, Monique, did more than open up his educational opportunities. It also allowed him to more fully understand “industries, treasures and culture” of the Big Easy.
“While the city certainly has its challenges today, there is truly no place on earth like New Orleans. The people, the food, and all the adventures readily available keep me hooked on the city,” Dunn said.
It’s clear that when Dunn cares about something, he puts all that he can into it. His list of volunteer work is extensive and includes serving on the Tulane Association of Business Alumni, Board of Governors for Junior Achievement of Greater New Orleans, GNO, Inc.’s NextGen Council, and being a member of the New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute Class of 2020.
However, much of his volunteer work starts at home — including as a member of the National World War II Young Benefactors Steering Committee. “My wife’s grandfather, John Laborde, served an incredibly impressive tour in World War II,” Dunn explains. “I also believe that the National World War II Museum is one of New Orleans’ finest assets.”
Calling his interest initially a “selfish” one as he set out to learn more about Laborde’s impact, he then fell in love with the actual facility and countless stories the Museum showcases. As Dunn’s children have grown up, there’s been a shift in focus with his volunteer work.
“I now enjoy coaching and staying active around activities and institutions they enjoy,” Dunn said, pointing out that family is always his number one priority.
“I’m conscious of working for a strong work-life balance and try to spend as much time with my family as possible, while also staying involved in impactful organizations making a difference in our region,” he said. “’Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life’ might be a phrase that is overused, however I often think of this phrase when deciding what I want to be involved with.”
Of course, his time in New Orleans hasn’t always been smooth sailing. He joined the IBERIA Capital Partners’ Capital Markets team in June of 2014, joking it was “just in time to see the price of oil fall from $130 to $60 in my first 12 months.”
In that time, Dunn was asked to move into risk analytics. He claims he got “lucky again” when a commercial banket left and he was able to adopt their book of business.
“Merging with First Horizon brought a new and unique private banking strategy to our market, so I jumped at the opportunity in May 2021 to lead our local team of private bankers while growing my commercial book of business,” he said.
Dunn certainly stays busy at work still, but for now, he said he’s finally enjoying slightly smoother waters as the turmoil of the past few years has settled down.
The merger with First Horizon began as a chaotic one — announced in 2019, the outbreak of Covid-19 caused a mass of delays. If that wasn’t enough, TD Bank had announced they were acquiring First Horizon only five days after IBERIABANK converted its systems and signage with First Horizon in February of 2022. In May, TD Bank announced it was no longer acquiring First Horizon. After four years of constant change, the company is settling into this next stage.
“I am relieved and excited to showcase how we can deliver for our clients as First Horizon going forward, without the uncertainty and questions that come with a pending acquisition,” Dunn said. “We have a fantastic team in New Orleans and look forward to helping our city grow and improve as your local bankers.”
Always inviting and investing, Dunn added, “Come see us!”