BOK Financial took first place among the nation's 25 largest
banks in compound average per-share earnings growth over the last
five recession-burdened years - all without accepting a dime of
Washington's recovery program funds.
"Through all of this, BOK Financial remained focused and
proactive," said President and Chief Executive Stan Lybarger. "While
competition retrenched, in many ways we continued to invest and
expand. We moved forward with a clear strategy for success, despite
the substantial challenges posed by the new regulatory environment
and slow economic recovery."
In their annual meeting Tuesday, Lybarger and other leaders of
that Tulsa-based financial services company shared some secrets
behind BOK Financial's 16-percent earnings growth in 2011 and its 29-
percent profit increase in this year's first quarter.
"There are a number of ways BOK Financial differentiated itself
during the last several years," said Senior Executive Vice President
Steve Bradshaw. "Each and every strategic decision was based on long-
term benefits rather than quick reactions or short-term positioning.
Some of our actions may have appeared contrarian to those of our
competition. While other banks reduced force and delayed projects,
we added talent and invested in products and technology."
Recognizing consumer shifts, Bradshaw said, the parent of Bank of
Oklahoma adapted new strategies in wealth management, mortgage,
consumer banking and business banking.
"Our focus has been to win and retain customers through the
quality and breadth of advice we provide - advice that changes in
response to customer needs and is not tied to specific product sets
or even lines of business," he said. "We believe this strategy sets
us apart in the minds of our customers and results in better
decisions and results for them individually, corporately, or both."
Bradshaw pointed to an institutional sales team added in
Milwaukee in late 2010. From that start the Wisconsin unit now has a
12-person office that Bradshaw said has become one of the company's
The wealth management team also expanded corporate trust
operations in Fort Worth and Austin, Texas, and Lincoln, Neb.
Bradshaw said that brought in more than $1 billion in net new assets
during the fourth quarter of 2011.
With 20 veteran advisers serving high-net-worth clients, Bradshaw
said their expanded sales force helped customers weather market
"Retail and institutional trade volumes increased at a 17-
percent, three-year compound annual growth rate," he said.
"Brokerage and trading fees have increased 67 percent since 2007."
Bradshaw said the company's mortgage loan originations outside
Oklahoma increased from 44 percent in 2008 to more than 58 percent
"We are capitalizing on visibility and leveraging our branch
network," he said. …