UPDATED: White River Bancshares Shrinks Board; Expects Capital Boost

The board of directors of White River Bancshares Inc. of Fayetteville, the holding company of Signature Bank of Arkansas, will strategically "shrink," CEO Gary Head said Wednesday.

Signature Bank of Arkansas is set to close on the sale of two of its Benton County branches on Friday.

The decision was made to reduce some of the individual board members' personal time commitments and to be more in line with the new size of the bank, Head said.

The bank should get a good boost to its capital out of the two-branch sale. Signature currently has about a 9.5 percent capital ratio and is expected to have about a 10.5 percent ratio in January, which will reflect the sale in the fourth quarter, he said.

Several directors who have served on the White River corporate board will move to local board levels, Head said. The bank will have local boards in Fayetteville, Bentonville, Springdale and Brinkley.

Along with Head, the White River corporate board will now consist of:

  • Greg Lee, former Tyson Foods International chief Tyson Foods, who was recently appointed board member to Fayetteville's Virtual Incubation Corp.;
  • Todd Simmons, with Simmons Foods Inc. in Siloam Springs;
  • Matt Duffy, owner of Twin Rivers Foods in Fayetteville;
  • John Dominick, finance professor at the University of Arkansas;
  • Jerry Maland, chairman of Community First Bank of Harrison;
  • Dave Morton, CEO of Community First Bank; and
  • Dan Bowers, a lawyer.

Head said lawyer Neal Pendergraft, CPA Reece Parham and insurance agent Larry Bittle will now serve on the Fayetteville board. All three are shareholders in the bank.

Kirk Dupps, retired comissioner of Arkansas Game and Fish, will also join the Fayetteville board. 

John A. Cooper III, president of Cooper Communities, will serve on the Bentonville board.

Beverly Schaffer, former commissioner of the Arkansas Securities Department, resigned from the board, and Gus Rusher, whose family owned the Bank of Brinkley, retired from banking, including the board, on Oct. 29.

Signature Bank acquired the Bank of Brinkley for an estimated $34 million in cash and stock in early 2007. 

According to its call report on file with the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, Signature Bank had a $5.18 million loss through the first nine months of 2010. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. reports the bank had $653.8 million in assets and about $525 million in deposits as of June 30.

Head and White River made Arkansas history by raising nearly $60 million in start-up capital during 2004 and 2005.