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John F. French
John F. French
Board Member, Audubon Nature Institute Board
Fenn French, a businessman, is a lifelong resident of New Orleans. He is a Newman graduate who received an Economics degree from Sewanee, and earned an MBA from Tulane University.
Fenn and his wife, Shane, are raising three children and are very civic minded and committed to our community. Shane is a physician at Ochsner Baptist as well as a member of The Women of the Storm. Coming from a family with a long history of philanthropy for New Orleans, Fenn and Shane continue their dedication to the city by contributing to and sitting on numerous local charity boards.
Fenn has a true sense of fairness and integrity and as a member of the UBS Securities team overseas, he witnessed deregulation in the financial markets and a boom in electronic trading. He became aware of the growing need to keep order in the financial markets. He then returned to the U.S. and worked as a bank examiner for the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas and later the Office of Thrift Supervision. He was pivotal in closing many savings and loans that were insolvent and helped the FBI identify a number of individuals found guilty of fraud and cheating the tax payers.
In the middle of a recession, Fenn returned to New Orleans and opened one of several men's clothing stores. He quickly discovered that New Orleans was in the grips of an economic development and growth crisis. The tax base had eroded and the office buildings downtown were empty. He realized that creating a positive business structure in New Orleans and Louisiana was the path to success. Fenn saw many of the same obstacles young entrepreneurs face when trying to open a new business, and he saw a need to stress the needs of our city to leaders in Baton Rouge and bring infrastructure dollars, continued economic development and prosperity to New Orleans. After Katrina, Fenn partnered with local businessmen and community leaders to found a new bank, First NBC, the largest bank ever formed in Louisiana. Again, his efforts brought new jobs to New Orleans and Louisiana. In 2011, First NBC was named the second fastest growing company by City Business and is currently the third largest bank based in Louisiana.