For more than a century, Bank of the Ozarks has delivered the genuine personal service of a hometown bank even as we’ve expanded far beyond our hometown.
Bank of the Ozarks began in 1903 as a small community bank in Jasper, Arkansas, and by 1937, included an additional bank in Ozark, Arkansas. In 1979, George Gleason, a 25-year-old attorney, purchased controlling interest and assumed active management of the bank as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer. At the time, the bank had a couple dozen employees and total assets of $28 million. Mr. Gleason instilled from the start a personal commitment to excellence, fair dealing and exceptional customer service that exists today.
In 1994, with a total of five banking offices in rural Arkansas markets, Bank of the Ozarks launched an aggressive growth strategy to expand the number of banking offices and product and service offerings. With the combination of sophisticated bank products and exceptional community bank service, the management team built an Arkansas franchise rivaling the largest banks in the state. The company moved its headquarters to Little Rock in 1995 while retaining selected key operations and support positions in Ozark. Bank of the Ozarks, Inc. held its initial public offering of stock in 1997. Since that time, the company has grown to more than 150 locations throughout Arkansas, Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama and Florida.
All the while, Mr. Gleason and his management team maintained their focus on people and the enduring values that are Bank of the Ozarks’ heritage. This values-based strategy influences all the bank’s decisions and has kept Bank of the Ozarks strong throughout the financial crisis of the mid-to-late 2000s.
The company’s goal is not necessarily to be the biggest bank – but to simply be the best bank. Regardless of organizational size, Bank of the Ozarks will always be deeply committed to developing friendships with our customers and relationships with the communities we serve. Our success is built upon our exceptional service to every customer, large and small – and we will keep that truth in focus as we build on our past success.
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