CEO Profile: George Gleason II of Bank of the Ozarks Inc.

by George Waldon  on Monday, Mar. 26, 2012 12:00 am  

The company's FDIC-assisted deals produced non-interest income gains of $65.7 million in 2011 and $35 million in 2010. Bank of the Ozarks also received $365 million in cash in connection with its three FDIC-assisted acquisitions in 2011 and $201 million in connection with its four FDIC-assisted acquisitions in 2010.

Gleason said opportunities to bid on loan pools during the savings and loan crisis in the 1980s helped his organization be better prepared for today's FDIC-assisted deals.

"That was great experience for us, going in and buying pools of distressed assets with FDIC-assisted acquisitions," he said. "We bought A-grade pools for C-grade prices."

The company's status as an expansive-minded, high-performance bank inspired one financial sector blogger to crown BOZ "King of the Regional Banks."

"The bank's challenge in 2011 will be to demonstrate its ability to efficiently manage its greatly expanded operations," an ABA Banking Journal article last year opined.

Gleason embraces the ongoing challenge of maintaining, refining, building and expanding the earnings machine known as Bank of the Ozarks.

"The bars are going to move higher tomorrow," he said of his expectations. "That has really served us well."

Gleason recently marked his 33rd year leading the company. His enthusiasm doesn't appear to have diminished since he took the plunge as a strong-minded 25-year-old back in 1979.

Gleason was rewarded for the company's strong performance in 2011 with a 20 percent increase in total compensation, which topped $2.6 million. His 13 percent stake in Bank of the Ozarks is worth about $137 million.



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