Tommy Coughlin grew up in the world of Wal-Mart. But instead of retail, he’s making a name for himself in banking.
Coughlin, son of Cynthia Coughlin and the late Tom Coughlin, who was a close friend of Sam Walton as a high-ranking executive with Wal-Mart Stores Inc., is a Bentonville native. He said advice from now-retired Arvest Bank executive David Short put him on his current career path.
“He said, ‘If you want an opportunity to learn a little about a lot, you ought to look into banking,’” Coughlin recalled.
After previously working for two other lenders in the area for a combined nine years, Coughlin joined Grand Savings as vice president and loan manager in November 2013, coinciding with the opening of the Oklahoma bank’s first Arkansas office on Arkansas Highway 72 at the western edge of Bentonville.
In the years since, he’s been part of a team that’s helped the bank grow its regional footprint to seven Arkansas locations. The financials are on a strong growth path, too. The bank had net income of $6.9 million in 2016, compared to $1.6 million in 2013, and a 1.95% return on assets (ROA), the lender’s best annual performance since 2007.
Coughlin was promoted to his current job earlier this year, responsible for the bank’s branch locations in Rogers (2) and Bentonville. He said his long-term goals for the bank are to increase market share in Benton County, with an eye toward expanding into Washington County.
But besides growing the market share, he said an overriding goal is to grow the bank’s community profile.
“We are putting together a talented team of people who are really embedded in their local communities,” Coughlin said.
Married with two children, Coughlin is active in a number of organizations including Bentonville Noon Rotary and Open Avenues. He has a bachelor’s degree from John Brown University and also graduated from Leadership Benton County in 2015.