Darrin Williams to be Southern Bancorp CEO | Arkansas Blog

Darrin Williams to be Southern Bancorp CEO

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DARRIN WILLIAMS: To lead Southern Bancorp
  • DARRIN WILLIAMS: To lead Southern Bancorp
State Rep. Darrin Williams, the Little Rock Democrat who was in line to be House speaker until the Republican majority came along, has been chosen to be the new CEO of Southern Bancorp., which focuses its activities on communities in need of development.

Talk Business has the report.

Williams has been a trial lawyer and will take the new role Feb. 1. Banks, of course, have plenty of legislative interests. Southern Bancorp's interest might even be broader because it has, for example, been active in financing charter school expansion, including participation in Little Rock's e-Stem charter school. Expansion of charter school legislation is a major target of wealthy interests led by the Walton family, but including support from the Stephens, Murphy and Hussman clans.

Walter Smiley has been CEO since the previous CEO, Phil Baldwin, left. An article in Arkansas Business (link corrected) suggested some differences over relative emphasis on for-profit banking and the charitable endeavors supported by profits played a role in the change.

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