Summit's CEO Ross Whipple To Plant Big Stake in Bank of the Ozarks After Merger

You no doubt know that Ross Whipple, chairman and CEO of Summit Bancorp Inc. of Arkadelphia, is poised to join a new bank board in a few days.

When the acquisition of Summit Bancorp is completed later this month, Whipple also will become one of the largest shareholders at Bank of the Ozarks Inc. of Little Rock.

Among the BOZ board of directors, his holdings will be second only to George Gleason, chairman and CEO of Bank of the Ozarks.

Whipple’s pending stake in Bank of the Ozarks is between 1.4 million and 1.7 million shares, depending on whether he opts to exchange more than 80 percent of his Summit holdings for stock.

That rough math is based on BOZ shares of BOZ trading around $59.

At last report, Gleason is deemed to be the beneficial owner of more than 3.2 million shares that represented a premerger stake of 8.7 percent.

By the way, Whipple, 62, signed a nominal five-year, non-compete agreement as part of the sale to Bank of the Ozarks.

The combined total assets of Summit and BOZ will top $6.8 billion.

Frugal & Efficient

Speaking of Summit Bancorp and Bank of the Ozarks, their respective namesake banks were granted an extension to respond to the litigation swirling around former Arvest Bank exec Dennis Smiley.

Summit Bank and BOZ now have until May 16 to stake their claims to any Smiley assets securing his serial loan defaults that involve 18 other Arkansas lenders.

What’s significant about May 16?

That’s when the acquisition of Summit Bancorp will be completed.

The new deadline to respond means only one lawyer will have to deal with the two banks’ claims against Smiley, claims that will be consolidated under Bank of the Ozarks.