Arkansas House Speaker Davy Carter has been named Regional President of Centennial Bank.
Tuesday’s announcement comes as the company is merging with Liberty Bank of Jonesboro.
Eric King, Marketing Manager with Centennial Bank, says Carter has previously served as Division President at the company, and his familiarity with the bank and northeast Arkansas helped in the decision to hire Carter.
“We’re excited. Davy’s been part of the Centennial Bank family for a long time and his leadership skills… he’s just an outstanding person and he’s an outstanding leader and banker as well, so we’re excited about this,” King said.
On June 25, HomeBancShares, the owner of Centennial Bank, announced it was buying privately held Liberty Bancshares of Jonesboro.
The merger will create the second largest bank holding company headquartered in the state with $7.1 billion in total assets.
Carter says Liberty Bancshares brings a lot to the table.
"If you've seen the footprint, post-merger, it could not fit any better, very little overlap amongst the markets. It makes a perfect fit I think for both banks, both institutions. Everybody's really just excited about it. It's truly historic," Carter said in an interview with KASU.
The merger is expected to close later this year, following regulatory and shareholder approval. In the meantime, Carter says there will be a lot of meetings in central and northeast Arkansas.
"It's a lot of tedious stuff, like any other acquisition or merger. You've got to go through regulatory approval, both institutions have to have shareholder votes and that sort of thing, in addition to everybody just getting to know each other and figuring out how we can serve the customer the very best we can. At the end of the day, that's what it's all about," Carter said.
The combined company will have 151 branches and 1,500 employees in Arkansas, Florida and Alabama.
Carter is serving his third term in the Arkansas House of Representatives and is a graduate of Arkansas State University in Jonesboro with a bachelor's degree in finance.
In addition, he holds a juris doctor with honors from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock's William H. Bowen School of Law and is an alumnus of the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.