HOLLYWOOD, FLA. - Not to be outdone by the Oscars, the Bank Insurance and Securities Association honored three banks and a prominent industry executive in an awards presentation at the general session of its annual conference Monday.

Sam Guerrieri, the chief executive officer of M&T Securities and 2008's Executive of the Year, announced the awards, which were won by a large bank, a regional, a community bank and a program manager.

Guerrieri said that each award "is given with an exclamation point after a rough couple of years," although BISA's board chooses its winners based on longer-term data.

Synovus Securities, which runs 30 charter banks with 332 branches throughout the South, won the Best Large Bank award for a program by combining traditional brokerage with managed accounts. The banking company managed top-quartile performance and positive production in 2008, when many programs were struggling to break even. (The 2009 awards honor a banking company's performance from 2008.)

Astoria Savings Bank won Best Regional Bank for its high level of integration between insurance, investments and traditional banking operations. In a platform-heavy program, 200 licensed bankers make up half of all production, and produce three times the industry average. The program's 52 financial consultants make up the rest at a program that did 10% better in 2008 than it did in 2007.

Kern Schools Federal Credit Union is this year's award winner for Best Small/Community Bank, having distinguished itself with a brokered CD program that helped shore up the financial stability of its parent in a tough market.

John Vaughn, president of BB&T Investment Services and a prominent member of BISA, is Executive of the Year.

BISA didn't announce a Lifetime Award Winner this year.

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