On April 22, Pine Bluff, Arkansas-based Simmons First National Corp. announced changes to certain senior leadership roles. The following changes were effective as of April 26. Simmons Bank operates 23 branches in Texas.
Bob Fehlman has been named president and chief operating officer of Simmons First National Corp. and Simmons Bank. In these roles, he will continue to report to George A. Makris Jr., Simmons’ chairman and CEO. Fehlman joined Simmons more than 30 years ago and most recently served as senior executive vice president, chief financial officer, chief operating officer and treasurer. Areas under his supervision included accounting, financial planning, investments, tax, bank operations, IT, risk and legal. He also provided critical support for merger-and-acquisition activity, analyst and investor meetings and leading the company’s capital management.
Succeeding Fehlman as executive vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer is Jay Brogdon. Prior to joining Simmons, he worked at Stephens Inc. where he most recently served as managing director in the investment banking division. In this role, Brogdon advised community banks and financial services companies primarily located throughout Simmons’ footprint. Prior to joining Stephens, he served four years in audit and enterprise risk services at Deloitte. Throughout his career, Brogdon has advised clients on more than $15 billion of successful transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, public offerings and private placements of debt and equity securities.
Brogdon holds a BBA degree in accounting and business management from Harding University, where he was a four-year letterman on the men’s basketball team. Active in the Little Rock community, Brogdon serves as deacon at a local church, board member of Spark of Life and volunteer basketball and baseball coach for numerous youth teams.
“The changes announced today are a direct result of the success and growth we have experienced at Simmons over the past several years and reflects our need to continue to add depth and bench strength to our senior management team as we look to execute our key strategic priorities designed to grow our franchise,” Makris says. “Bob has been instrumental in ensuring the financial strength of the company, particularly during challenging economic periods, that has us well-positioned to continue to expand in our footprint while also continuing to meet the evolving needs of our customers. We’re also very pleased to have a high-caliber person like Jay join our team. In addition to being very familiar with Simmons, he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our senior management team that should serve us well into the future.”
Additional changes include the promotion of Steve Massanelli to senior executive vice president and chief administrative officer of the company and Simmons Bank. He joined Simmons in 2014 as chief administrative officer and in 2018 added the responsibility of investor relations officer. He will continue to have responsibility for a wide array of day-to-day duties, including mergers and acquisitions due diligence and integration, corporate real estate services, corporate security, records management and corporate insurance.
Simmons also announced Sabrina McDonnell as executive vice president, chief customer experience officer. She will oversee marketing and brand experience, product development and private client departments with responsibility for developing initiatives to stimulate growth in market share and customer relationships. McDonnell has 20 years of experience in the financial services industry, having previously served as executive vice president, chief administrative officer for Landmark Bank. Her previous experience also includes serving as president and chief operating officer, and senior vice president, retail banking at First National Bank & Trust. McDonnell holds a BA degree in business administration from Drury University, an MBA from the University of Missouri and attended the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin.
Ed Bilek has also joined the company as executive vice president, director of investor relations. He has more than 30 years of experience in the financial services industry, most recently serving as director of investor relations and corporate insurance at BBVA USA. Prior to that, he served in a variety of capacities, including head of U.S. shareholder relations for BBVA and director of investor relations for BBVA USA, and director of external communications. His previous experience also includes serving as director of investor relations at Compass Bancshares Inc. and as manager of SEC, regulatory and shareholder reporting at KeyCorp Inc. Bilek holds a BBA degree in accounting from Baldwin-Wallace College.
Established in 1903, Simmons Bank, operates 198 branches in Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.