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Great Western Bancorp Inc   (GWB)
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    Sector  Financial    Industry Money Center Banks
   Industry Money Center Banks
   Sector  Financial

Great Western Bancorp Inc

Business Description


We are a full-service regional bank holding company focused on relationship-based business and agribusiness banking. We serve our customers through 158 branches in attractive markets in seven states: South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Arizona, Kansas and Missouri. We were established 80 years ago and have achieved strong market positions by developing and maintaining extensive local relationships in the communities we serve. By leveraging our business and agribusiness focus, highly efficient operating model, robust approach to risk management and presence in attractive markets, we have achieved significant and profitable growth—both organically and through disciplined acquisitions.

We focus on business and agribusiness banking, complemented by retail banking and wealth management services. Our loan portfolio consists primarily of business loans, comprised of commercial and industrial, or ("C&I'), loans and commercial real estate, or ("CRE'), loans, and agribusiness loans. Our business and agribusiness loans collectively accounted for 85.9% of our total loan portfolio. In addition, 63.3% of our aggregate loan portfolio, comprising our CRE loans (representing 38.7% of our aggregate loan portfolio), residential real estate loans (representing 12.5% of our aggregate loan portfolio) and agriculture real estate loans (representing 12.1% of our aggregate loan portfolio), was primarily secured by interests in real estate predominantly located in the states in which we operate. In addition, some of our other lending occasionally involves taking real estate as primary or secondary collateral. We offer small and mid-sized businesses a focused suite of financial products and have established strong relationships across a diversified range of sectors, including key areas supporting regional growth such as agribusiness services, freight and transport, healthcare and tourism. We have developed extensive expertise in agribusiness lending, which serves one of the most prominent industries across our markets, and we offer a variety of financial services designed to meet the specific needs of our agribusiness customers. We also provide a range of deposit and loan products to our retail customers through several channels, including our branch network, online banking system, mobile banking applications and customer care centers. In our wealth management business, we seek to expand our private banking, financial planning, investment management and insurance operations to better position us to capture an increased share of the business of managing the private wealth of many of our business and agribusiness customers.


Our banking model seeks to balance the best of being a “big enough” & “small enough” bank, providing capabilities typical of a much larger bank, such as diversified product specialists, customized banking solutions and multiple delivery channels, with a customer-focused culture usually associated with smaller banks. Our focus on balancing these capabilities with a service-oriented culture is embedded within our operations and is enhanced by focusing on our core competencies. We are well recognized within our markets for our relationship-based banking model that provides for local, efficient decision making. We believe we serve our customers in a manner that is responsive, flexible and accessible. Our relationship bankers strive to build deep, long-term relationships with customers and understand the customers’ specific needs to identify appropriate financial solutions. We believe we have been successful in attracting customers from larger competitors because of our flexible approach and the speed and efficiency with which we provide banking solutions to our customers while maintaining disciplined underwriting standards.

We believe that stable long-term growth and profitability are the result of building strong customer relationships while maintaining disciplined underwriting standards. We plan to focus on originating high-quality loans and growing our low-cost deposit base through our relationship-based business and agribusiness banking. We believe that continuing to focus on our core strengths will enable us to gain market share, continue to improve our operational efficiency and increase profitability. The key components of our strategy for continued success and future growth include the following:

Attract and Retain High-Quality Relationship Bankers
A key component of our growth in our existing markets and entry into new markets has been our ability to attract and retain high-quality relationship bankers. We have recruited approximately 61 new business and agribusiness relationship bankers since January 1, 2011 (out of a total of approximately 182 business and agribusiness relationship bankers at September 30, 2015), with average industry experience of over 15 years when hired. We believe we have been successful in recruiting qualified relationship bankers due primarily to our decentralized management approach, focused product suite and flexible and customer-focused culture while continuing to provide sophisticated banking capabilities to serve our customers’ needs. We intend to continue to hire experienced relationship bankers to execute our relationship-driven banking model. We utilize a variable compensation structure designed to incentivize our relationship bankers by tying their compensation to both the performance of the Company and their individual overall performance and the performance of the loans that they help originate, which we measure based on revenues, deposits raised, return on assets and asset quality/risk, among other things. We believe this structure establishes the appropriate incentives to maximize performance and satisfy our risk management objectives. By leveraging the strong networks and reputation of our experienced relationship bankers, we believe we can continue to grow our loan portfolio and deposit base as well as cross-sell other products and services.

Optimize Footprint in Existing and Complementary Markets
We pursue attractive growth opportunities to expand within our existing footprint and enter new markets aligned with our business model and strategic plans. We believe we can increase our presence in under-represented areas in our existing markets and broaden our footprint in attractive markets adjacent and complementary to our current markets by continuing our emphasis on business and agribusiness banking. Our branch strategy is guided by our ability to recruit experienced relationship bankers in under-represented and new markets. These bankers expand our banking relationships into these markets prior to opening a branch, which increases our likelihood of expanding profitably by developing an asset base before we establish a branch in that market. We will continue to opportunistically consider opening new branches. We intend to capitalize on growth opportunities we believe exist in growing economies in and adjacent to our existing markets.

Deepen Customer Relationships
We believe that our reputation, expertise and relationship-based banking model enables us to deepen our relationships with our customers. We look to leverage our relationships with existing customers by cross-selling our products and services. We have sought to grow our low-cost customer deposit base by attracting more deposits from our business and agribusiness customers. We offer alternative cash management solutions intended to help retain business customers. We seek to expand and enhance our wealth management platform through focused product offerings that we believe will appeal to our more affluent customers. We intend to continue to capitalize on opportunities to capture more business from existing customers throughout our banking network.

Continue to Improve Efficiency and Lower Costs
We believe that our focus on operational efficiency, even in light of incremental costs from being a public company, is critical to our profitability and future growth. We intend to carefully manage our cost structure and continuously refine and implement internal processes to create further efficiencies and enhance our earnings. We continue to optimize our branch network and continually review additional internal processes and vendor relationships, with a view to identifying opportunities to further improve efficiency and enhance earnings. We are also continuing our efforts to shift our deposit base to lower-cost customer deposits, a strategic initiative that has been primarily responsible for driving our cost of deposit funding down since September 30, 2012. We believe our scalable systems, risk management infrastructure and operating model will better enable us to achieve further operational efficiencies as we grow our business.

Our Operating Model
We believe our highly efficient and scalable operating model has enabled us to operate profitably, remain competitive, increase market share and develop new business. We emphasize company-wide operating principles focused on proactive expense management, targeted investment, disciplined lending practices and focused product offerings. We have achieved cost efficiencies by consolidating our branch network through the closure of less profitable locations and through our demonstrated success in acquiring and integrating banks. We have also achieved significant cost efficiencies through the use of Kaizen & Lean principles, which are management techniques for improving processes and reducing waste, to eliminate redundancies and improve the efficient allocation of resources throughout our operations. We believe our focus on operating efficiency has contributed significantly to our return on equity, return on assets and net income.

Our Relationship With NAB
Great Western Bancorp, Inc., a Delaware corporation, was formed in July 2014 as a wholly owned subsidiary of National Americas Holdings LLC to be the publicly traded holding company for Great Western Bank. National Americas Holdings LLC was formed as a Delaware limited liability company in 2008 by NAB to facilitate NAB’s purchase of Great Western Bank. In connection with our initial public offering in October 2014, Great Western Bancorp, Inc. purchased all outstanding common stock issued by Great Western Bancorporation, Inc., an Iowa corporation formed in 1968 which was then the holding company for Great Western Bank, from National Americas Investments, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of National Americas Holdings LLC. Following this purchase, Great Western Bancorporation, Inc. merged with and into Great Western Bancorp, Inc., with Great Western Bancorp, Inc. continuing as the surviving corporation and succeeding to all the assets, liabilities and business of Great Western Bancorporation, Inc. We conduct our business through our bank as a single reportable segment, with all of our identifiable assets located in the United States.




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