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CEO of failed bank named financial institutions chief

Lauren Kingry

Lauren Kingry

The former CEO of a failed bank that went into receivership with federal officials in December will be Arizona’s next top banking regulator.

Gov. Jan Brewer on April 6 named Valley Capital Bank CEO Lauren Kingry as the next superintendent of the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions.

Kingry became the bank’s CEO in February 2009, about 10 months before it was closed by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, an arm of the U.S. Department of Treasury, that charters, regulates and supervises all national banks.

Kingry said he was brought in as CEO in an attempt to save the failing bank, which was put on notice by federal regulators in the fall 2008 over its lack of capital and inadequate earnings. His efforts, however, were unsuccessful, and the bank was taken over by the Federal Deposit Insurance Company and sold to a Missouri company.

“Because of my credentials and being able to run a successful community bank I was asked to see if I might be able to assist in whatever work they were doing to bring it around,” Kingry said. “We took the necessary steps internally and then externally we did whatever we could to find capital, because that was one of the sources of weakness, and simply ran out of time.”

Paul Senseman, a spokesman for the governor, said Kingry’s background at Valley Capital Bank was fully taken into consideration by Brewer, who felt his experience made him an ideal candidate for the job.

“From our perspective there’s a huge difference between someone presiding over a failing bank and someone coming in and trying to save one,” Senseman said.

Valley Capital Bank went into receivership with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in December before the federal agency sold it to the Missouri-based Enterprise Bank & Trust. The bank was later reopened as an Enterprise branch.

The other two finalists for Kingry’s position were Deb Eldridge, vice president of operations at Arizona Bank and Trust in Chandler, and Thomas Wood, who has served as interim superintendant of the Department of Financial Institutions since August, when Superintendant Felecia Rotellini resigned. Wood will return to his previous position as division manager.

Kingry has spent 39 years in the financial sector. He began his career at First National Bank in Wichita, Kan., in 1971, ultimately working his way up to vice president in correspondent banking before moving to Arizona in 1985.

“Mr. Kingry brings with him nearly 40 years of banking and financial experience,” Brewer said in a press statement. “He has proven himself to be a leader in executive management in small and large financial institutions. His experience will serve the department well to ensure safety and soundness of the state’s financial entities.”

Kingry is also a member of the Arizona Bankers Association, the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Phoenix Kiwanis Club and the Tucson Chamber of Commerce.


  1. Headline should read: Brewer selects fox to guard henhouse.

  2. This has to be a mistake.

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