First Federal Bancshares Changes Name to Bear State Financial

First Federal Bancshares of Arkansas Inc. of Harrison is now Bear State Financial Inc. The name change approved by shareholders on March 21 became effective Tuesday.

The company’s ticker symbol on the Nasdaq Global Market is now BSF.

The change has no effect on the outstanding common stock certificates. 

Also included in the amended articles of incorporation approved by shareholders in March is an increase in the number of authorized shares from 30 million to 100 million.

The name change comes ahead of the company's annual shareholders' meeting, set for 11 a.m. June 27 in Little Rock, according to a proxy statement filed Thursday.

According to the proxy, salaries of company executives for fiscal 2013 were:

  • Christopher Wewers, president and CEO, had total compensation of $508,305, up from $248,000 in the previous year. Compensation includes a base salary of $233,905 and stock awards of $254,400.
  • W. Dabbs Cavin, vice chairman of the board and former CEO, had total compensation of $227,372, down from $263,000. Compensation includes base salary of $137,012 and stock awards of $78,480.
  • John Suskie, executive vice president and chief lending officer, had total compensation of $239,450, up from $144,087. Compensation includes base salary of $190,500 and stock awards of $48,950.
  • R. Thomas Fritsche Jr., executive vice president and chief credit officer, had total compensation of $219,750, up from $215,000. Compensation includes base salary of $200,000 and stock awards of $9,750.