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Monday evening, Stephens Inc. will entertain hundreds of leading bankers and investors with drinks and appetizers at Fassler Hall in downtown Little Rock. More than 70 publicly traded banks have signed up to attend the firm's ninth annual bank forum, which runs through Wednesday. They'll be joined by a like number of institutional investors.

Over drinks and appetizers, they'll see the Stephens tower rising above the city.

Festivities begin just a block away from where "Mister Witt" Stephens held court with his famous luncheons -- attended by political and business leaders both local and national -- in the old Stephens headquarters at East Capitol Avenue and Scott Street.

Indeed, a peek through the curtains of the old office would give Mister Witt a view of the welcoming event at Fassler Hall.

The forum that begins Monday will utilize Stephens holdings to give visitors a grand view of Little Rock, and foster an environment to create and extend business opportunities: both goals that would certainly satisfy Mister Witt, who founded Stephens Inc. in 1933, and his brother, Jack Stephens, who was chief executive officer of Stephens Inc. for 30 years until 1986.

During the forum, Stephens will have an opportunity to help its partners and showcase the jewels it owns in Little Rock. Attendees will stay at the Stephens-owned Capital Hotel. They will golf at the Stephens-owned Alotian Club. Those investments, as well as other multibillion-dollar holdings, have been successfully steered by CEO Warren Stephens, Jack's son.

Guests also can shoot skeet in North Little Rock or go fly fishing on the Little Red River.

Stephens, through the forum, will provide attendees with access to bank management teams. Institutional investors who attend will have 1-on-1 and small-group meetings with the bankers, creating opportunities to build partnerships that create wealth and jobs, all goals well-understood by Mister Witt, who once famously said: "Poverty is something you don't have to be ashamed of, but it's something you get rid of as soon as you can."

Stephens Inc., a full-service, independent financial services firm, announced recently that it was expanding its regional bank coverage to more than 150 financial institutions across all key regions of the United States. Stephens also is enhancing its sales efforts across the financial sectors.

After a start knocking on doors to sell Bibles and belt buckles, Mister Witt built the business buying municipal bonds (Stephens continues today to support public education in Arkansas through bond issues) and bank stock.

News of leading bankers and investors from around the nation in Little Rock for three days likely would have him lean back, smile and light up a cigar.

ENERGY SAVERS

Entergy Arkansas is keeping power from the people, and that's a good thing.

The electric utility recently announced that it has invested in energy-efficient projects that will save customers almost 256 million kilowatt hours a year.

That's enough energy to light up about 20,000 homes for one year. Looking at it from an environmental perspective: It's equal to keeping 38,000 vehicles in the garage and off the road.

Residential and business customers volunteer to participate in a variety of programs, which focus on more efficient and smarter use of electricity. Translation: More efficient and smarter usually means using less electricity, which means keeping more money in your pocket and out of Entergy's.

Most of the programs are offered to customers at little or no out-of-pocket expense. And some even offer cash incentives or rebates on the purchase of an appropriate thermostat. That's right, you can have Entergy pay you instead of the other way around.

Some of the available programs include:

• Conducting a home energy assessment.

• Sealing leaks in ductwork and in the home.

• Adding ceiling insulation.

• Putting a jacket on the water heater.

• Installing a wireless thermostat.

Entergy will arrive and conduct an assessment of your home's efficiency. The assessment is a comprehensive evaluation of energy usage, and homeowners and businesses could be eligible for a no-cost evaluation depending on their usage.

Go to entergy-arkansas.com to learn more.

NEW SUIT DIGS

You'll have to travel across Little Rock now to be greeted by Randy, Ron and Greg.

The men's clothing scene in Little Rock changed in mid-August with the closing of Greenhaw's Fine Men's Wear, which was an essential stop for more than 45 years.

Randy and Ron remain available whenever you need a tailored fit. You can visit with Randy Owens at Mr. Wicks men's clothing store in the Heights. Ron Freeman moved just a bit farther west and can suit your needs at j.duke & co. men's wear.

When life gets ordinary and you need a little extra sparkle, venture over to Sissy's Log Cabin and ask for Gregg Herr.

Herr, who owned Greenhaw's for the Past eight years, started working at the men's shop 40 years ago. "There were three generations of families who shopped there," Herr said. "We had many clients who turned into friends. I'd just like to say thank you to every one of them for their support over the years."

SundayMonday Business on 09/22/2019

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