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Standing: Hunter Cox, VP and loan officer, and Callie Carroll, VP of business development and shareholder relations officerSeated: Mark Harrington, president/CEO, and Sophie Pierpoint, VP and business development officer
Katelyn Egger | SBJ
Standing: Hunter Cox, VP and loan officer, and Callie Carroll, VP of business development and shareholder relations officer

Seated: Mark Harrington, president/CEO, and Sophie Pierpoint, VP and business development officer

2024 Dynamic Dozen No. 4: OMB Bank

Posted online

SBJ: What has been the key to OMB’s growth?
Mark Harrington: It’s a combination of being in great communities and a culture that’s attracted really, really talented people. We were conscious about what we did with our culture. We want all our people to treat each other like they treat our best customers, and our people have a fair amount of autonomy and authority to take pretty broad actions.

SBJ: What challenges come with growth at this level?
Harrington: Banks are highly regulated. We’re required to have a certain amount of capital just to afford a certain number of assets. It’s a balance between internal capital generation and taking new investment from the community. Too-rapid growth in a highly regulated industry draws scrutiny, too, so we’re constantly making sure the policies, procedures, and guardrails we have in place are appropriate for our size and growth rate.

SBJ: What has this growth enabled you to accomplish?
Harrington: When your staff is feeling good, they’re optimistic about the future, and they’re telling people about it. That word-of-mouth advertising has been really beneficial to us. We call it a virtuous circle: If our people are happy, we have happy customers. Happy customers mean repeat business and referrals, which leads to more growth, and that leads to happy shareholders.

SBJ: Would you consider your growth sustainable?
Harrington: If I were referring to our previous year’s growth, that was a pretty torrid pace. It’s certainly not easily sustainable anywhere north of 20%, but growth in the 15%-20% range is something we’re able to do. It’ll still be difficult to maintain, but I think it’s quite realistic to have what we would consider robust growth compared to our industry.

SBJ: OMB recently rebranded with a new name, website and app. How has this new image impacted your growth?
Harrington: When you make those kinds of changes, there’s an internal benefit. Our team sees us investing in our brand and keeping it fresh. For our customers, the call center and app experiences are on par with the best players in the industry, so it’s an ongoing game for us to make sure that the experience is what people expect compared to other best-in-class apps out there.

SBJ: How have your goals changed as OMB has grown?
Harrington: Our goals for how we treat our team and how we operate in our communities in a way that attracts talent have been so important to what we’ve been able to accomplish. It’s far beyond what I would have thought possible 25 years ago. We have some loftier goals as far as growth, shareholder returns, and new lines of business, but the core is to take care of the financials, our people, and the communities we’re in.

SBJ: This is OMB’s second year in the Dynamic Dozen. Why do you think you’re here two years in a row?
Harrington: This is the logical side of me, but it could mean that other businesses are slowing down. We didn’t grow like we did the year before, but that tells me we have some momentum on our side. The team that we’ve built has created that momentum, and it’s nice to get recognition for that.

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