Bank OZK was established in 1903 as a small community bank in Arkansas, but the modern-day history began in 1979 when George Gleason, a 25-year-old attorney, purchased controlling interest of the bank.
On his first day as Chairman and CEO, Mr. Gleason gathered the bank’s 28 employees and told them they might never become the largest bank in Arkansas, but if they worked hard and pursued excellence, he was certain they could become the best bank in the state. Under Mr. Gleason’s leadership and unwavering commitment to excellence, we’ve grown to be the largest in Arkansas, and one of the best in the nation.
Today, with more than 2,800 employees and over 250 offices in 10 states, Bank OZK has been recognized 13 times as the #1 performing bank in the United States in our asset size, by leading industry publications. Money named Bank OZK “Best Bank in the South” for 2019-2020 and Forbes named Bank OZK to “America’s Best Banks” and “World’s Best Banks” in 2019 and again in 2020.
In 2003, we established the Real Estate Specialties Group (RESG) based in Dallas, Texas to originate high quality construction loans on marquee real estate. RESG is now considered the preeminent construction lender in the nation. Our significant expertise in real estate construction lending, conservative business practices and diversified portfolio of quality assets is a hallmark of our Company.
While we’re changing skylines in the largest cities across the country, we’re also investing in main street. Small businesses are the anchors of our economy, bringing jobs, growth and innovation to our communities. We support small businesses by customizing and personalizing lending, deposit and payment services, to help each business achieve their full potential and to help our local communities remain vibrant.
We continue to build on our community bank heritage by combining high ethical standards and innovative technology to deliver truly exceptional service to our customers and communities. We are committed to implementing new ideas and cultivating relationships that encourage our communities, large and small, to grow and thrive.