Great Western Bank Announces Leadership Changes



Jeff Erickson, retiring President and CEO of Great Western BankJeff Erickson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Great Western Bank, has announced his retirement from Great Western Bank effective November 5, 2010. Erickson joined Great Western Bank as President and CEO in July 1995. At that time, Great Western Bank had 6 branches and approximately $125 million in assets. Today the bank is a top 100 bank in the United States with 193 branches in seven states and $8.5 billion in assets. The bank has also grown to be a top 10 agricultural lender in the U.S.

Erickson has been active in many local and statewide economic development groups and is currently the Chairman of the South Dakota Division of Banking and Vice Chairman of the South Dakota Ellsworth Development Authority. Erickson has over 30 years of experience in the banking industry, the last 22 as Chief Executive Officer. Erickson is looking forward to spending time with his family and pursuing public service activities.

Ken Karels, incoming President and CEO of Great Western BankKen Karels will be assuming the role of President and Chief Executive Officer. Karels was a former CEO with the Marquette Banking Group before joining Great Western Bank in February 2002 and currently is the Chief Operating Officer and on the Board of Directors of Great Western Bank. Karels has more than 34 years of experience in the banking industry. He’s looking forward to building upon Great Western Bank’s long heritage of strong and prudent banking practices while working to "Make Life Great" for all the customers and communities they serve.

About Great Western Bank

  • Great Western Bank is a high-performing community bank with over $8 billion in assets.
  • Great Western Bank’s parent company, National Australia Bank Limited (NAB), is an international AA rated financial services organization that provides a comprehensive and integrated range of financial products and services.
  • NAB’s portfolio of businesses includes Great Western Bank in the US, NAB in Australia, BNZ in New Zealand and Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks in the UK.
  • NAB has more than 10 million customers, nearly 40,000 employees, over 400,000 shareholders and total assets of over $540 billion.

Facts About Great Western Bank