Business

August 7, 2012

Long-term commercial lender joins CrossFirst Bank in Wichita

A Leawood-based bank that opened an office in Country Club Park in January has added a long-time commercial lender.

A Leawood-based bank that opened an office in Country Club Park in January has added a long-time commercial lender.

CrossFirst Bank said Tuesday that it has hired Tom McGrath as managing director, real estate and business banking.

McGrath, 46, has spent most of his 24 years in commercial and commercial real estate lending at two banks – Bank IV, which became Bank of America, and more recently Emprise Bank.

“I was just really very intrigued by the position and (CrossFirst’s) business model,” said McGrath, adding that part of the intrigue also was about working at a bank just establishing itself in the market. “I was really happy at Emprise. This was just a unique opportunity.”

McGrath and CrossFirst’s Wichita president, Steve Peterson, attended high school together at Kapaun Mount Carmel and were in the same fraternity at the University of Kansas.

Peterson said hiring McGrath was foremost on his mind when he returned to Wichita to open the CrossFirst office, but “we were not at the right point yet” to hire McGrath.

“Our conversations only started within the last month,” Peterson said. “I was really lucky that a lot of things came together at just the right time.”

McGrath has been at CrossFirst, 1313 N. Webb Road, about a week.

He started his banking career in 1988 as a part-time teller at Bank IV while he was finishing up his master’s in business administration at Wichita State University. From there he went to work in loan review for the bank’s holding company, Fourth Financial Corp., and later was promoted to commercial real estate and commercial lending. In 2004 he joined Emprise’s commercial lending business.

Peterson said McGrath brings depth in understanding the local commercial and commercial real estate markets and their players. “It was a big win for us,” Peterson said.

CrossFirst has $400 million in assets. One of its founders is Ron Baldwin, who is the bank’s chairman and former president of Intrust Bank. Baldwin also was a Bank IV executive.

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