Former Bank of America Executive Takes Bank of Oklahoma Post

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Though Bank of America and Bank of Oklahoma, commonly referred to as BofA and BOk, may have similar-sounding names, the companies and their objectives are very different, officials with Bank of Oklahoma said Wednesday. That difference is the reason Greg Wheeler resigned his position with one and joined the other.

Wheeler, the former manager over private banking and personal, institutional and corporate trust for Bank of America, now heads the Trust and Private Financial Services Group for Bank of Oklahoma, assuming the role held by Senior Vice President Carl Shortt.

Shortt will remain with the bank in a reduced role until his retirement in 2005.

"This organization has one mission - to put Oklahomans first in trust and private banking by offering the most personal service and by far the best expertise in the market in asset management to help clients meet their financial goals," Wheeler said.

Bank of Oklahoma offers a "great product spread," Wheeler said. However, Bank of Oklahoma only concerns itself with the needs of Oklahomans, as opposed to covering a huge market containing a number of different states.

"Because of this, BOk can be more flexible, more creative in providing this service - we can tailor these services to the client," Wheeler said. "Couple that with the fact that Bank of Oklahoma is the dominant player in the market, and I don't know why I hadn't joined sooner."

V. Burns Hargis, vice chairman of the bank's board of directors, said Bank of Oklahoma has the capability of offering any services available at any bank in the world, but with a focus on the needs of the local community.

"Bank of America focuses on Wall Street; Bank of Oklahoma focuses on Main Street," said Jim Holloman, BOk executive vice president and head of the Trust Division systemwide.

"We can do it better because of our narrower focus," Shortt added.

Shortt joined the bank in 1992, when he and partner Randy Everest sold their Trust Company of Oklahoma firm to Bank of Oklahoma. Everest retired soon after the sale, but Shortt went on to head the trust division of the bank.

While Shortt served as senior vice president, the trust group moved up from third to first in assets in the Oklahoma City market. …