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Encore Bank Names Gary Edwards Chief Audit Officer

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Encore Bank of Little Rock has named Gary Edwards executive vice president and chief audit officer.

The bank said that Edwards, who will be based in Little Rock, will lead its internal audit functions and will oversee the evaluation of operational policies, procedures, internal controls and governance processes across all business lines.

Edwards previously spent 21 years in public accounting at BKD LLP of Little Rock, with a majority of that time spent serving financial institutions.

Burt Hicks, president and chief strategy and growth officer at Encore, said Edwards will play a “crucial role” as the bank continues to scale operations in 20 markets across eight states.

“With his depth of knowledge and vast experience consulting with financial institutions, Gary will be an invaluable member of our team,” Hicks said in a news release.

Edwards brings experience audit/attestation services, SEC compliance, directors’ examinations, mergers and acquisitions, public offerings, private stock offerings and loan reviews to the role.

“I’ve worked with the smallest bank in Arkansas, and I’ve worked with multibillion-dollar banks,” Edwards said. “I’ve seen banks go public, and I’ve taken banks over the billion-dollar threshold. After 21 years in public accounting, I’ve seen a lot in the banking industry, but I’ve never been a banker. I’m really looking forward to this transition. It’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was on the Bank Board in high school.”

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