Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oklahoma's Most-Admired CEOs Profile: Sean Kouplen, Regent Bank

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oklahoma's Most-Admired CEOs Profile: Sean Kouplen, Regent Bank

Article excerpt

Sean Kouplen had plenty of experience leading companies, but he took a gamble and assembled a group of 80 investors in April 2008 and purchased Regent Bank, a 110-year-old community bank in Nowata.

The bank was struggling at the time, but Kouplen had high hopes. He wanted to turn that institution around and make it Oklahoma's premier bank for small and midmarket business. He had big dreams, and he was certain those dreams would come true.

"Unfortunately, in the fall of 2008, the economy experienced an unprecedented collapse," Kouplen said. "The stock market fell to 6,600, my investors became scared, my clients became scared and many of our business clients began to suffer. Suddenly, I was facing failure for the first time in my life and it was terrifying."

Fortunately for him, things began to turn around during the summer of 2009.

"We survived and have now grown from a $72 million, one-market community bank into a $190 million, three-market regional business bank," Kouplen said. "We have been successful beyond our wildest dreams."

Although Kouplen had led other people's banks, he said he learned a lot about leading his own and most of what he learned had to do with people.

"Personal relationships are everything," Kouplen said. …

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