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Local Central Bank leader outlines growth opportunities

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Joselyn Baldner, president of Central Bank's Springfield market, laid out growth opportunities in a live interview yesterday.

Baldner was interviewed by Springfield Business Journal Editorial Vice President Eric Olson for the publication’s monthly 12 People You Need to Know event. The interview was held at The Backlot, Alamo Drafthouse Springfield's restaurant and bar.

While declining to disclose specific details, Baldner said plans to boost the company's deposit market share, make branch and digital changes, and be involved with merger and acquisition deals all are on the table. It's part of Central Bank's "aggressive growth plan" over the next five years, she said.

"We have a number of things that we are focused on," she said. "Your customers drive your behavior."

The most recent Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. data show Central Bank is the No. 3 company in the Springfield metropolitan statistical area in terms of deposit market share. As of June 30, 2021, Central Bank had $1.57 billion in MSA deposits, or 10.8% of the market.

Acknowledging deposit market share competition through the recent merger of Guaranty Bank and Springfield First Community Bank, Baldner said evaluation of branches and digital services would play a part in its growth aspirations. The combination of those two banks would represent roughly $1.4 billion in local deposits, or 9.5% of the five-county MSA, based on 2021 FDIC data. In the latest market share report, which the FDIC typically releases each September, Great Southern Bank is No. 1 with $1.97 billion in deposits and a 13.5% market share.

"It's about being located properly," Baldner said. "We're constantly evaluating that."

Addressing industry trends, Baldner said she expected bank M&A deals to continue an upward trajectory.

"Central Bank would like to be on the acquiring side of that," she said, pointing to Jefferson City-based holding company Central Bancompany’s goal to further expand out of state, with Texas being an example of a potential market. "I think you will see that we are in the market to expand."

In early 2021, Baldner became the first female to be named to a Central Bank president role in the organization's 65-year history, according to past reporting.

Responding to an audience question yesterday about her leadership style, Baldner provided advice for people looking to break similar barriers.

"My mantra is to give grace. That's how I lead," she said, noting that developing relationships and not fearing leadership roles are important goals.

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