What is Shawnee oil man and philanthropist Don Bodard doing buying a tiny bank in Medicine Lodge, Kan.?
Typically, financial behemoths, mega-banks, and super regional banks are the ones that bold-ly venture into new terri-tory.
Well, Bodard is diversifying, said George N. Cook Jr., president of $100 million American National Bank & Trust Co. of Shawnee, another Bodard bank.
"It’s not quite as crazy as it would appear on the surface," Cook said. "He wanted to get more involved in the agriculture business from a lending standpoint. We don’t have the opportunity to do a lot of that here. There are mostly small farms around here … part-time farmers. We’re doing the best we can; it’s just a limited market here. " First National Bank of Medicine Lodge is located in a stable agriculturally based community. The bank was chartered in 1881 and has about $60 million in total assets. It earned profits of about $750,000 last year, Cook said.
Bodard has bought the the Medicine Lodge bank’s parent company for about $6 million, or about equal to its equity value. Cook said Bodard was traveling and could not be reached to discuss the deal.
Bodard purchased American National in Shawnee in 1991 from Charles A. "Chuck" Vose Jr., a member of a longtime Oklahoma City banking family. The Pottawatomie County institution had lost $2.8 million the previous year.
Bodard owns and is president of both Bodard and Hale Oil Co., and Bodard Drilling Co. He also is co-founder and largest shareholder of Tulsa drilling company Unit Corp. At the time of the American purchase, Bodard said he bought the bank in part because he owned the building housing it.
"I wanted to know who my renter was going to be," Bodard said at the time. "Now it will be me. I just figured it was time for me to step in and get both ends of the thing. That’s the only bank I’ve ever done business with. " Cook said American is the bank that essentially gave Bodard his start in the oil business more than 40 years ago.
In December 1991, Bodard put $2 million into the struggling Shawnee institution.
Whether Bodard’s motivation was philanthropy, profit or a little of both, the bank has indeed begun a turnaround. Last year, American National recorded net income of $500,000, marking its first profitable year since 1986. Management expects to turn in a stronger performance in 1994, Cook said.
Since American National’s lending base is primarily consumer and residential, Medicine Lodge will provide diversification. Its management team will be kept in place. It has 30 employees and operates two branches in Medicine Lodge and one in Isabel Kansas.
Medicine Lodge is near the Oklahoma/Kansas border, about 20 miles north of Alva, OK.
Both Cook and American National Vice Chairman Wes Schubert are from Kansas, so they are familiar with the Kansas market. BIOG: NAME:
Archive ID: 570190