Arkansas National Bank

City: Bentonville
Category: Category III (76-300 Employees)
Year: 2001

Arkansas National Bank in Bentonville has blazed a trail of rapid growth since its founding in 1994. The bank was launched with $10 million in borrowed money, $5 million raised through a stock offering and a staff of 30.

It now has become a leading competitor for loans in Benton and Washington counties and has amassed the second-largest market share in the area.

Arkansas National ended the year with total assets of $481 million and a profit of $5.5 million. Dan Dykema, chairman and CEO of Arkansas National,

is pleased with the company's position

of its core business.

For the year, the bank generated a 1.2 percent return on assets and an 18.5 percent return on equity. The 2002 forecast calls for a 25-30 percent increase in earnings as the bank sets out to tap new revenue sources.

"Our charge in the next few years is to add services instead of branches," Dykema said.

Toward that end, the bank is in the process of buying a full-line insurance agency in a deal that is expected to close any day.

Arkansas National also is forming its own broker-dealer operation to handle stock trades, mutual funds and other securities investments for clients.

Among its claims to fame is having the first fully interactive Internet banking system in Arkansas. According to Dykema, the bank's Internet banking system was among the first in the nation when it premiered in 1996.

"If there was someone who beat us [in Arkansas], I'd be surprised," he said. "There weren't even software programs for Internet banking when we started. We had to write our own programs."

Its Web site has won various industry awards and recognition over the years, too. Full-time staffers now number 170, working at nine branches in the two-county area.

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