Arvest Bank of Bentonville said Monday that Cara James has been promoted to chief risk officer, effective Jan. 1.
James will replace Bob Kelly, who is retiring after more than 30 years with Arvest, effective Dec. 31.
James serves as senior vice president and chief compliance officer, a role she held at two other financial institutions before joining Arvest in 2013. She has specialized in compliance management since 1992, working in consumer protection regulation, as well duties related to the Community Reinvestment Act and Bank Secrecy Act.
In her new role as chief risk officer, James will have overall responsibility for Arvest's corporate risk management policies.
"Cara's background and wealth of knowledge make her an ideal fit for this position," Arvest President and CEO Kevin Sabin said. "While the chief risk officer's role is largely a behind-the-scenes one, it is of critical importance and I am confident Cara will handle it in the exceptional manner she has displayed since joining Arvest."
James earned a bachelor's degree in accounting from Oklahoma State University and is both a certified public accountant and certified regulatory compliance manager. She is also a member and past chairperson of the American Bankers Association's Regulatory Compliance Conference Advisory Board.
She will be based in Tulsa.
Arvest said Kelly played a key role in its transformation from a northwest Arkansas-only bank into a regional enterprise with more than 260 locations serving more than 135 communities throughout Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.
"Bob has been an invaluable part of the Arvest team, and we can’t thank him enough for his contributions," Sabin said. "His unique insight, intellect and skill set have been vital in our collective efforts to grow while serving our customers through the years. Bob will be missed by all of us at Arvest."