First National Bank tabs Brian Clem Northwest Arkansas President

by Paul Gatling (pgatling@nwabj.com) 161 views 

Brian Clem, a longtime First National Bank lender, has been named the family-owned bank’s first regional president in Northwest Arkansas.

Paragould-based FNB entered the market almost three years ago and has 30 employees and five locations in Benton and Washington counties. Combined, the offices hold about $55 million in deposits, Clem said.

Donald Guinn, FNB’s president and CEO, had been leading the bank’s startup as market manager.

Clem, who recently moved with his family from Jonesboro to Bentonville, has 22 years of banking experience, the past 15 with FNB. He has previously served as the bank’s senior vice president for lending and chief credit officer.

FNB’s holding company, First Paragould Bankshares Inc., made its foray into Northwest Arkansas in October 2014 when it closed on a $12.2 million purchase of five empty bank branches belonging to Pine Bluff-based Simmons Bank in Benton and Washington counties. FNB opened its Rogers banking center that same year. Offices in Bentonville, Fayetteville, Springdale and Johnson opened in 2015.

FNB has been one of the state’s fastest-growing banks for several years. First Paragould Bankshares has $1.28 billion in assets, Clem said which ranks among Arkansas’ 10-largest banks.

For comparison, at the end of September 2012, FNB had assets of $713.6 million, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC). That’s an 80.3% increase during the last five years.

FNB has a combined 14 offices in 10 Arkansas cities.

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