The Bank Slate


Simmons First in Ark. taps insider as next CEO

Simmons First National in Pine Bluff, Ark., will start 2023 with a new CEO.

The $27.1 billion-asset company said in a press release that Bob Feldman, its president and chief operating officer, will become CEO on Jan. 1. Feldman, who will also become CEO of Simmons Bank, will lead Simmons’ “better bank” initiatives and day-to-day operations.

Feldman will succeed George Makris Jr., who will remain chairman.

Jay Brogdon, Simmons’ chief financial officer, will take on the added role of president. He will be responsible for all revenue production at the bank and company levels.

“Simmons has developed an outstanding bank management team – one that is deep on talent and experience but also has a long runway ahead of them,” Makris said in the release.

“I am, therefore, very proud that our organization will be making these changes now to provide expanded leadership within the excellent banking team we have built,” Makris added.

“Since his promotion to COO in 2019 … Fehlman has been considered by many across the Street to be the heir apparent,” David Feaster Jr., an analyst at Raymond James, wrote in a client note.

Fehlman “brings significant management experience across both financial and operational roles, and also has an in-depth knowledge of the bank,” Feaster said. “We are confident … Makris is leaving the bank in capable hands and expect a seamless transition.”

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