Associate Spotlight: Brian Hoban – a Q&A with CCB's Chief Lending Officer
You were recently promoted from Chief Commercial Banking Officer to Chief Lending Officer, which is a newly created position within Country Club Bank. Tell us about what you do as the Chief Lending Officer.
As the Chief Lending Officer, I focus on revenue generation, managing credit quality and formalizing the bank’s market development process. I lead the lending activities for the bank and oversee the bank’s four regions, diversifying income sources and managing a diverse team of lenders covering various industries and business types. Additionally, the role encompasses managing small business lending, commercial middle market C&I and CRE lending, and treasury sales. The emphasis is on fostering talent, innovation, and customer-centric solutions to support the bank's growth goals. Formalizing the bank's market development process and aligning the expertise of experienced bankers from different regions has contributed to significant growth, with a 30% increase in the loan portfolio over the past two years.
How did you get into banking?
From a young age, I had a passion for numbers—how they work, what they tell us, how they help businesses and families get things done. Budgeting—managing money—was always very attractive to me. I was even curious about how they impacted our family: My dad teases me that even from a young age, I was curious and concerned about the money coming in and the money going out of our own household.
My interest in numbers led me to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting at Rockhurst University. I got a taste of the banking world during the late 1980s and early 1990s while working for a bank owned by Ambassador Charlie Price while I was in high school. There I had the opportunity to learn about commercial lenders’ role in supporting businesses and entrepreneurs—and the positive impact that had on the community. Witnessing the ability of banking to facilitate growth and support financial goals attracted me to the industry.
After starting my career in the credit department of a bank, I ventured into corporate lending. For example, I had the opportunity to be a part of the financing solution for Kansas City Southern’s purchase of a large Mexican railway and Deffenbaugh’s expansion of their waste management business in Kansas City as well as O'Reilly Automotive’s expansion of their network of aftermarket retail auto parts locations.
I found my niche, though, in the middle market, where I can serve as a trusted advisor offering solutions to entrepreneurs growing their businesses. That’s when I met Joe Close, in 1999-2000, and really dived into the incredible business-focused opportunities around Kansas City. Eventually, I joined Country Club Bank in January 2021.
What attracted you to Country Club Bank?
Country Club Bank’s values, ownership, diversification, history, reputation, and commitment to the community were all factors that drew me in. Unlike some organizations with competing strategic initiatives, CCB’s singular focus on one market—Kansas City—was particularly appealing. I appreciated the opportunity to work with a leadership and ownership team dedicated to doing things well and being the top choice in our local market. Additionally, Country Club Bank’s comprehensive approach to the entire wealth creation cycle, from supporting businesses' early stages to providing solutions for transitions and wealth management, resonated with me.
What do you want to accomplish at Country Club Bank?
I want Country Club Bank to be the first bank people think about in Kansas City—whether it’s the solution they need for their business or for their family’s financial goals. We can help businesses and families throughout the entire wealth creation cycle. When you're growing your business and you need resources, capital, ideas and advisors, I want to be there for the individuals behind those growing entities. As businesses eye the next level, I want Country Club Bank to be that growth partner adept at navigating the challenges of changing economic conditions across multiple industries. And when that business owner decides to sell the business to their family, their associates, or a strategic partner, I want them to think of Country Club Bank as that solution, as the team that can help them achieve their wealth preservation or wealth transfer goals. When you think about all the different stages of the wealth creation cycle, I want Country Club Bank to be the No. 1 choice.
What advice would you give other associates for achieving success at the Company?
My advice for achieving success at Country Club Bank, or any organization, is to prioritize collaboration and trust. Success is not an individual pursuit but a collective effort. Building a culture of trust among colleagues fosters a strong and effective team. By working together with a common vision and goal, associates can accomplish great things for the community they serve. Furthermore, it's important to embrace continuous learning and innovation. Talent and technology are shaping the future of banking, so investing in personal and professional growth and finding ways to innovate for customers is crucial.
Be sure to watch the video featuring Brian discussing commercial lending below.