Hegel became Compass' chief financial officer in 1990. In 2002 he was named to the American Bankers Association task force on corporate governance. On January 1, 2008 he succeeded the retiring D. Paul Jones as CEO of BBVA Compass and led its efforts to consolidate all of the Spanish bank's U.S. holdings under the Compass banner. After his retirement in November of the same year he was succeeded by former Laredo National Bank head Manolo Sanchez.
- Hubbard, Russell (December 15, 2007) "New man at the helm." Birmingham News
- Hubbard, Russell (November 18, 2008) "Compass chief Gary Hegel retires; Texas exec to take helm." Birmingham News