Former Liberty President John Freeman Moves to Evolve Bank & Trust

Leadership at Jonesboro’s Liberty Bank of Arkansas was put in play by the recent sale to Home BancShares Inc. of Conway. John Freeman, Liberty’s former president, recently landed at Evolve Bank & Trust of West Memphis.

The 40-year banking veteran was hired as chief executive officer of the bank’s Arkansas operations and will no doubt devote his energies to developing the Jonesboro market, currently home to a fledgling office downtown.

Freeman owned 2,421 shares of Liberty that were exchanged for more than $516,000 worth of Home BancShares stock and about $62,000 in cash. He also received a severance package that included $1.8 million in cash and $77,400 in stock.

Founded in 1925 as First State Bank of Parkin, the lender morphed into Evolve Bank after it was acquired for nearly $3 million in November 2005 by Evolve Financial Group of Memphis.

Total assets at the bank were $22 million back then. The venture has since grown into a $272 million-asset concern with four full-service locations in West Memphis, Parkin, Wynne and Memphis.

Evolve also operates 15 loan production offices scattered in 10 states, ranging from San Juan Capistrano, Calif., in the west to Grand Rapids, Mich., in the north, to East Setauket, N.Y., in the east and Dallas in the south.