Local bank getting bigger - East Valley Tribune: Business

Local bank getting bigger

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Posted: Tuesday, August 16, 2005 6:58 am | Updated: 8:18 am, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Valley Commerce Bank adopted a new name Monday, becoming the Bank of Arizona and announcing plans to expand by 30 percent to 40 percent during the next 12 months.

The bank — which operates branches at 5050 N. 44th St., Phoenix, and 6929 E. Greenway Parkway, Suite 100, in the Kierland area of Scottsdale — is eyeing the East and West Valleys for new branches, said chief executive Greg Anderson. He said specific sites have not been selected yet.

"We’re still doing our research, but we know it (the East Valley) is a place we want to be," he said during a telephone interview from his Phoenix office. "We specialize in lending in the health care arena, and there’s a lot of that there."

He said the bank is looking to open "a couple of units" in the East Valley and may also add another branch in Scottsdale.

"We are looking to follow the areas with growth in population and health care," he said.

The name change and expansion follow the acquisition of Valley Commerce Bank in April by BOK Financial Corp., a bank-holding company based in Tulsa, Okla.

The local bank, which is managed in Arizona, serves a client base that includes consumers, investors, trust clients and entrepreneurial companies in addition to health care organizations.

The new name will better signify the bank’s aspirations, chairman David Ralston said.

"The Bank of Arizona name not only offers a strong local identity, but it also indicates our plans to grow and become a financial services leader in one of the country’s most vibrant markets," he said.

The bank, which has about 40 workers, will expand its employment by at least 30 percent in the next year as it increases its product offerings and opens branches, Ralston said.

BOK Financial was founded in 1990 by Tulsa businessman George Kaiser and acquired Bank of Oklahoma N.A. in 1991 as its first holding. It has since grown to more than seven times its initial size with acquisitions in nearby and contiguous states. Its holdings include the Bank of Albuquerque, Bank of Arkansas, Bank of Texas, Colorado State Bank and Trust, broker/dealer BOSC Inc. and the Trans-Fund electronic funds transfer network.

BOK Financial paid $32 million in cash for all of the outstanding shares of Valley Commerce Bancorp under the agreement that closed on April 6.

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