Banking & Finance  July 8, 2022

Arkansas’ Encore Banks establishing Boulder foothold staffed by market vets

BOULDER — Encore Bank, a Little Rock, Arkansas-based institution with about $2 billion in assets and a leadership team with a hankering for expansion, is breaking into a new market: Boulder. 

The move into Boulder comes close on the heels of Encore’s first entry into the Colorado market in Denver this year. 

“We are thrilled to launch into the Boulder market,” Encore’s Colorado regional president Josh Peebles said. “Boulder is an attractive high-growth market with a diverse mix of leading industry clusters and a business climate known for entrepreneurship and innovation. Geis is the perfect person to build the Encore brand there. He is a visionary leader and a highly respected banking professional.”

The bank, which formed its current iteration in 2019 when new leadership took over Little Rock-based The Capital Bank and changed its name, operates in 20 markets across nine states.

“We are known for having innovative technology and coupling that with experienced and talented bankers,” said Encore director of communications Lauren Goins.

In the case of the Boulder market, those experienced bankers come by way of Great Western Bancorp Inc. (NYSE: GWB).

Former Great Western Bank Boulder market president Gary Geis will serve as Encore’s executive vice president and Boulder market president. Joining him from Great Western are executive vice president and Boulder commercial group president Kent Nuzum and senior vice president and commercial relationship manager Chris Melin.

“We came over as a team,” Geis said.

Encore’s workforce in Boulder will eventually include about nine employees.

The Arkansas bank’s “smaller, concierge approach” to banking attracted Geis and his teammates, feeling a bit burnt by Great Western’s acquisition by First Interstate BancSystem Inc. (Nasdaq: FIBK) in 2021, he said.

“Encore is smaller, with a more hands-on, boutique feel,” than larger institutions such as First Interstate, Geis said.

Melin said that bankers ideally would like to spend at least 80% of their time working with clients and the remainder dedicated to administrative tasks. With larger, more bureaucratic institutions, that ratio is often reversed. 

While Encore Bank focuses mainly on commercial lending, the company’s Boulder branch, the location of which has yet to be determined, will be full service. 

With burgeoning presences in Boulder and Denver, Encore leaders aren’t ruling out additional expansion along the Front Range, but said no specific moves are imminent. 

BOULDER — Encore Bank, a Little Rock, Arkansas-based institution with about $2 billion in assets and a leadership team with a hankering for expansion, is breaking into a new market: Boulder. 

The move into Boulder comes close on the heels of Encore’s first entry into the Colorado market in Denver this year. 

“We are thrilled to launch into the Boulder market,” Encore’s Colorado regional president Josh Peebles said. “Boulder is an attractive high-growth market with a diverse mix of leading industry clusters and a business climate known for entrepreneurship and innovation. Geis is the perfect person to build the Encore brand there.…