Southern First Bancshares, Inc., is the holding company for Southern First Bank. The company was established in 1999 and is headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina. In 2007, we expanded to Columbia, South Carolina, and then to Charleston, South Carolina, in 2012.

Greenville, Columbia, and Charleston represent the largest banking markets in South Carolina. Each market has approximately $10 billion in deposits and continues to enjoy solid growth. Our unique model, dynamic markets, and experienced bank team provide the basis for the continued success of our company.

2013 highlights


• The value of your SFST stock increased %

• Net income increased %

• Record growth in loans and deposits

• Significant decline in credit costs

• Momentum heading into 2014

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 shareholder letter


Dear Fellow Shareholders

It is a pleasure to highlight the performance of your company in 2013. Southern First Bank is now fourteen years old and operates in the three largest markets in South Carolina. During 2013, Southern First generated the strongest earnings in our company’s history. The record results are attributed to sizable growth in new client relationships and continued improvement in overall credit costs. We are proud of the financial performance of Southern First in 2013 and remain focused on improving your value in the future.

2013 Operating Highlights

Valuation increases 57%:
The value of your investment in Southern First improved 57% in 2013. Southern First’s unique banking model translates into solid financial performance and an impressive return for our shareholders. The company’s valuation now represents 114% of tangible book value. The primary focus of our team is to continue providing an attractive return on your investment.

Net income increases 58%:
Southern First recorded net income of $4.4 million in 2013, a 58% increase over the $2.8 million in earnings recorded in 2012. The growth in earnings is a result of solid growth in loans and core deposits, improved net margin, and lower credit costs.

Record growth in loans and deposits:
During 2013, Southern First’s loan portfolio grew $91 million or 14% for the year. While the company’s expansion to Charleston resulted in significant growth, our Greenville and Columbia markets also experienced impressive loan growth.

Total deposits increased $104 million for the year, representing an 18% increase for the year. Our bankers continue to focus on core client relationships and grew core deposits 13% during 2013.

Significant decline in credit costs:
Southern First recorded total credit costs of $3.7 million in 2013. This total represents a 33% decrease from the $5.5 million in credit costs in 2012. The decline in overall credit costs is a direct result of improvement in nonperforming assets and charged-off loans. The company’s charge-off ratio was .34% in 2013 compared to .71% in 2012.


As Southern First entered 2013, we had just announced our initial expansion to the Charleston market and our third office in the Columbia market. Both of these strategic investments have surpassed our expectations and contributed significantly to the loan and core deposit growth experienced in 2013.

Our vision at Southern First is to create a unique client experience. Our “Client FIRST” model provides a senior banker and consistent support team to every client to ensure consistency and a superior level of professional service. This model continues to grow client relationships and our company now totals $891 million in total assets.

Southern First enters 2014 with tremendous momentum. We have made significant investments in technology, infrastructure, and mortgage capabilities to improve the client experience and drive financial performance in the future. We have the capacity to grow and have assembled a dynamic team that is passionate about performance. We are focused on providing a unique and valued client experience and understand the privilege of serving the clients in our markets. Thank you for your continued support.


Art Seaver
Chief Executive Officer


Justin Strickland


Jimmy Orders
Chairman of the Board


2013 Balance Sheet



Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

To The Board of Directors,

We have audited, in accordance with standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States), the consolidated balance sheets of Southern First Bancshares, Inc., and Subsidiary as of December 31, 2013, and 2012, and the related consolidated statements of income, comprehensive income, shareholders’ equity, and cash flows for each of the years in the three-year period ended December 31, 2013, (not presented herein); and in our report dated March 4, 2014, we expressed an unqualified opinion on those consolidated financial statements.

In our opinion, the information set forth in the accompanying condensed consolidated financial statements is fairly stated, in all material respects, in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles in relation to the consolidated financial statements from which it has been derived.

Greenville, South Carolina
March 4, 2014


Forward-Looking Statements

In this annual report, statements relating to future plans and expectations, are subject to risks and uncertainties, such as a downturn in the economy, greater than expected non-interest expenses, excessive loan losses and other matters, which could cause actual results to differ materially from the future plans and expectations anticipated by such forward-looking statements. For a more detailed description of factors that could cause such differences, please see our Annual Report on Form 10-K. We undertake no duty to update forward-looking statements.

Common Stock

Southern First Bancshares, Inc., holding company for Southern First Bank, is traded on the NASDAQ Global Market under the symbol SFST. A copy of Southern First Bancshares, Inc.‘s, Annual Report on Form 10-K, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, is available at no charge by contacting the Investor Relations Officer listed below or on the company’s web site at www.SouthernFirst.com.

Annual Shareholders Meeting

The Annual Meeting of Shareholders of Southern First Bancshares, Inc., will be held at the Poinsett Club, 807 E. Washington Street, Greenville, South Carolina, on Tuesday, May 20, 2014, at 5:00 PM.

Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm
Elliott Davis LLC
P.O. Box 6286
Greenville, South Carolina 29606

General Counsel
Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP
P.O. Box 10084
Greenville, South Carolina 29603

Transfer Agent and Registrar
Registrar and Transfer Company
10 Commerce Drive
Cranford, New Jersey 07016

Investor Relations Officer
Michael D. Dowling, Chief Financial Officer
Southern First Bancshares, Inc.
P.O. Box 17465
Greenville, South Carolina 29606



Southern First Executive Officers

Art Seaver

R. Arthur Seaver, Jr.
Chief Executive Officer

Justin Strickland

F. Justin Strickland

Michael Dowling

Michael D. Dowling
Chief Financial Officer

Fred Gilmerlll

Frederick Gilmer, III
EVP Chief Lending Officer

Carolyn Herbert

Carolyn A. Herbert
EVP Client Services

Lenwood Howell

Lenwood B. Howell
EVP Charleston Regional Executive

Mike Strickland

Michael M. Strickland
EVP Chief Risk Officer

Scott Bailey

Scott E. Bailey
SVP Senior Mortgage Executive

Sandy Boozer

Sandra K. Boozer
SVP Facilities and Physical Security

Michael Edens

Michael E. Edens
SVP Team Leader

Julie Fairchild

Julie A. Fairchild
SVP Controller

Richard Furman

Richard H. Furman
SVP Senior Team Leader

Terry Garner

Theresia J. Garner
SVP Deposit Operations

David Keller

W. David Keller
SVP Team Leader

Don Kiser

Donald L. Kiser
SVP Team Leader

Matt Kneeland

Matthew B. Kneeland
SVP Team Leader

Kevin Lee

Kevin E. Lee
SVP Team Leader

Brenda McKay

Brenda K. McKay
SVP Market Manager

Sharise Mundt

K. Sharise Mundt
SVP Human Resources

Rob Reeves

Robert E. Reeves, Jr.
SVP Team Leader

Jason Starnes

Jason E. Starnes
Chief Information Officer

Blake Taylor

Blake G. Taylor
SVP Team Leader

Robert Thompson

Robert B. Thompson
SVP Team Leader

Eddie Tuttle

Edward W. Tuttle
SVP Team Leader

Toni Whitten

Toni N. Whitten
SVP Chief Credit Administrative Officer

Sarah Baldwin

Sarah G. Baldwin
Mortgage Executive

Lisa Gilstrap

Lisa C. Gilstrap
Mortgage Executive

Julia Howell

Julia C. Howell
Mortgage Executive

Terryn Patterson

Terryn C. Patterson
Mortgage Executive

Nelson Poe

Nelson C. Poe
Mortgage Executive

Southern First Board of Directors

Jimmy Orders

James B. Orders, III

Art Seaver

R. Arthur Seaver, Jr.

Andy Cajka

Andrew B. Cajka, Jr.

Mark Cothran

Mark A. Cothran

Leighton Cubbage

Leighton M. Cubbage

Anne Ellefson

Anne S. Ellefson

Dave Ellison

David G. Ellison

Fred Gilmer Jr.

Fred Gilmer, Jr.

Tee Hooper

Tee Hooper

Trip Johnstone

Rudolph G. Johnstone, III

Bill Sturgis

William B. Sturgis


Southern First Bancshares, Inc.

100 Verdae Boulevard, Suite 100
Greenville, South Carolina 29607

Download Southern First Bank Annual Reports

Click here to download the Annual Reports in PDF format.

2013 Southern First Annual Report
2012 Southern First Annual Report
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