A successor has been selected days after Arvest Bank announced Springfield market president Brad Crain was headed to a new post.
Kyle Hubbard, a 17-year veteran of Arvest Bank, said he is set to assume leadership of the Springfield operation Feb. 11. Hubbard has served since 2015 as president and CEO of Arvest Bank in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.
“It’s very similar to what I’ve been doing the last five years, but it’s a different market with a different challenge,” Hubbard said, adding Arvest is still young in Springfield’s banking market, which influenced his decision to move.
Its first local branch opened in 2007, according to Springfield Business Journal archives.
Crain, who began working for Arvest Bank in 2006 and entered the Springfield market in 2014, moved to become Arvest’s president and CEO in Benton County, Arkansas. His first day was Jan. 27.
“It’s definitely bittersweet for all of us,” Crain said, referencing his wife Jeannette and their three children leaving colleagues and friends in the Queen City. “All of us have made strong connections. They embraced us from the beginning.”
The new job serves as a promotion, Crain said. Benton County is Arvest’s largest market, out of 14, with just over $3 billion in assets. Springfield ranks ninth with $830 million in assets, as of Dec. 31, he said. Six years ago, when Crain took the helm, the local market’s assets were $274 million, ranking it 13th in the company.
Hubbard said Arvest’s assets in Bartlesville were around $700 million, as of Dec. 31.
Acquisitions of Bear State Financial Inc. (Nasdaq: BSF) and Bank of America branches largely fueled the growth in Springfield.
Springfield will serve as a larger market for Hubbard as well, with a population of nearly 170,000, according to 2018 U.S. Census Bureau data. Bartlesville’s population was around 36,000 two years ago.
“For us as a family, living in a different area was something that was attractive,” Hubbard said, referring to his wife Megan and their two children. “Springfield has a great reputation as a great place to raise a family. A different focus was something that was attractive to me.”
Hubbard began his career with Arvest as a retail associate in Oklahoma City, before moving on to Bartlesville, where he was promoted to loan manager and later to market president and CEO.
Hubbard and Crain worked together for a couple of years in Bartlesville.
Crain previously served with Arvest as an executive vice president and director of sales for its asset management group and a director for its investment management group – with stints in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, and Bentonville, Arkansas. He and his wife have family in Arkansas.
During his time as Arvest’s Springfield president, Crain led the local banking operation to more than double its deposit market share in the five-county metropolitan statistical area when the Lowell, Arkansas-based company completed its $391 million acquisition of Bear State in 2018.
As of June 30, 2019, the most recent data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Arvest had $286 million in deposits, or 2.64% of the Springfield MSA market share. In Benton County, which includes Bentonville, Bella Vista, Lowell and Rogers, Arvest’s market share is 56.2%, according to the recent FDIC data.
In his new spot, Crain succeeds Craig Rivaldo, who was promoted to a regional executive.
Shane Cowger, sales manager at Arvest in Springfield, said he worked with Crain for the entirety of his near six years in the Queen City.
“I know it wasn’t an easy decision for him, both for his work family and his home family,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity for him.”
Cowger said Crain in the past talked about aspirations he had with the bank and a desire to grow in his career.
“I don’t think any of us thought it would happen as quickly as it did,” he said. “It’s that domino effect when a position like that opens up.”
Crain’s career began in Atlanta in 1999 when he was hired by SunTrust Bank, and he’s since taken jobs in four different states. He views a return to Bentonville likely as his last move as a president of a bank region.
“It’s a significant role in the company,” he said.
As he begins a new chapter, Crain said his time in Springfield was key to his leadership growth.
“It was a great opportunity to come lead a new market that wanted to have a focus on growth but wanted someone to engage the community as well,” he said. “Without really making that move to lead this market, I likely would not have been an ideal candidate for Benton County.”
Web Editor Geoff Pickle contributed.
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