In the past three years under Chris Howe’s leadership, revenues for IberiaBank’s Northwest Arkansas market have increased 43%, net income increased 200% and funded loan portfolio has grown by 78%.
Howe’s goal is to make Northwest Arkansas the lead market for the $31 billion bank, which has branches in 10 states.
“I want to show smart growth, increasing the size of our portfolio, but being profitable doing it,” he said.
Originally from Helena, Howe knew in high school he wanted a career in investment banking. After graduating from the University of Arkansas in 2007 with commercial banking and finance degrees, Howe worked for Regions Bank in Little Rock.
In 2009, IberiaBank hired him, and he was promoted to vice president in 2011. In 2015, the bank moved him to Bentonville to run its commercial group and promoted him to senior vice president. In 2016, he added regional responsibilities and became market manager, with responsibility for 31 people in the bank’s retail and commercial operations. Commercial lending, treasury management, retail banking and the financial performance of the bank all flows to him.
Howe attributes his boss, Phillip Jett, with being his mentor, teaching him to always do the right thing regardless of the impact on financials, and that developing people “to make them the best bankers they can be is the No. 1 priority.”
Howe is an active supporter of his team’s efforts to participate in the affordable housing initiative taking place in the region. He said he is proud of the role the bank is playing to push that initiative forward.
Married with one daughter and a second child on the way, Howe serves on several nonprofit boards, including the local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.