LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Nov. 17, 2022) – Encore Bank is pleased to announce Gary Edwards has been named executive vice president and chief audit officer. Edwards steps in for Elizabeth Bradley, who has been promoted to Encore’s executive vice president and chief risk officer.
Edwards, who will be based in Little Rock, will lead Encore’s internal audit functions and will oversee the evaluation of operational policies, procedures, internal controls and governance processes across all business lines.
“We are thrilled to welcome Gary to the Encore team,” said Burt Hicks, Encore’s president and chief strategy and growth officer. “In just over three years Encore has expanded its footprint into 20 markets across eight states and has added multiple business lines. Gary will play a crucial role as we take our operations to scale. With his depth of knowledge and vast experience consulting with financial institutions, Gary will be an invaluable member of our team.”
Before joining Encore, Edwards spent his entire 21-year career in public accounting at BKD, LLP of Little Rock, with a majority of that time spent serving financial institutions. This experience includes audit/attestation services, SEC compliance, directors' examinations, mergers and acquisitions, public offerings, private stock offerings, internal audit procedures, loan reviews and various consulting services.
“I’ve worked with the smallest bank in Arkansas, and I’ve worked with multibillion-dollar banks,” said Edwards. “I’ve seen banks go public, and I’ve taken banks over the billion-dollar threshold. After 21 years in public accounting, I’ve seen a lot in the banking industry, but I’ve never been a banker. I’m really looking forward to this transition. It’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was on the Bank Board in high school.”
When asked why he chose Encore after years of working with a variety of financial institutions, Edwards said: “Encore Bank just feels like the right fit. Between Encore’s unique vision and the caliber of professionals who are working here, I knew this is where I wanted to start my second career.”