Burt Hicks is the President and Chief Strategy & Growth Officer of Encore Bank, a privately held boutique bank headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas, that couples highly experienced and talented bankers with innovative technology to offer unprecedented levels of service to its clients through a concierge approach.
At Encore, Burt oversees the bank’s strategy as well as various departments within the bank, including finance, accounting, legal, human resources, marketing communications, operations, risk, compliance, audit, technology and innovation, project management, investor relations, digital banking, mortgage, SBA, association banking and treasury management.
Even as a young child growing up in the small town of Percy, Arkansas, Burt had big dreams and an entrepreneurial spirit. Hicks recalls telling his parents as a kid that he would start his own bank one day.
That day came when Burt, at the age of 34, partnered with banking executives Chris Roberts and Phillip Jett to build a different kind of bank. In March of 2019, they moved to The Capital Bank of Little Rock, rebranded it as Encore Bank and quickly began its transformation. Chris serves as Chairman and CEO and Phillip serves as Vice Chairman and Chief Banking Officer.
With just $160 million in total assets, a handful of employees and one office in Little Rock, the three founders turned Encore Bank into the fastest growing bank in the country. Today (as of April 30, 2023), Encore has over $3.9 billion in assets, more than 320 employees and operates in 20 markets across eight states.
But before making the leap to co-founding Encore Bank, Burt made a name for himself in the banking world through hard work, education and a series of career moves that would make his childhood dream of owning a bank become a reality.
After graduating with a bachelor’s in business administration from the University of Arkansas in 2008, Burt started his career on Wall Street as an investment banker for Merrill Lynch and Bank of America. He later returned home to Arkansas to undertake management training with Simmons Bank and a concurrent degree program at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law and the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service.
From 2014 to 2019, Burt held various roles with Simmons Bank and its holding company, Simmons First National Corporation. These include Chief of Staff, Director of Mergers and Acquisitions, Investor Relations Officer, Corporate Secretary, CFO & COO of Specialty Lending and Wealth Management, President & CEO of Simmons First Investment Group and Insurance Services and Director of Mortgage Banking.
Burt lives in Little Rock, Arkansas with his wife, Katie. They have a daughter, Ali (8), and a son, Krit (4), who they adopted from Thailand.