Okla. banking company to acquire Kansas wealth management firm

BOK Financial will grow its Wichita presence a little following the Tulsa-based bank holding company’s agreement to acquire Gtrust Financial Corp.

On Wednesday, BOK announced the agreement with the independent trust and asset management firm, which has 30 trust and investment officers dispersed among offices in Wichita, Larned, Marysville, Overland Park and at its Topeka headquarters. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

BOK Financial operates Bank of Oklahoma Mortgage in Wichita, which has nine employees at 8110 E. 32nd North. Gtrust’s local office is at 250 N. Rock. It is managed by Steve Funk, one of the company’s two Wichita employees.

BOK officials said Wednesday that the acquisition of 22-year-old Gtrust will increase its assets under management or custody by $600 million.

“We’re really thrilled about it,” said Greg Wheeler, CEO of BOK’s the Private Bank. “They’ve developed a very talented group … the best and biggest part for us is it really builds our presence in the Kansas market.”

Wheeler said Gtrust also offers fee-only financial planning, a service BOK Financial has not previously offered. But through this acquisition it’s something BOK can “build out across our own franchise,” he said.

Funk, of Gtrust, said his firm opened the Wichita office in 1998. He said the firm has been successful building business in south-central Kansas “by flying under the radar.” But he said becoming part of BOK Financial will give his office access to a base of customers it hasn’t had before.

“Everyone’s expectation is that the Wichita market … will benefit dramatically by having the resources of BOK Financial behind us,” Funk said. “This will open doors for us with high net-worth individuals that in the past have been more difficult to reach.”

BOK Financial has $54 billion in assets under management, which includes the assets of seven banks in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas City, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. Its wealth management businesses have offices in 10 states and customers in all 50 states.

It’s not clear at this point if the Wichita Gtrust office will co-locate with Bank of Oklahoma Mortgage once the acquisition is complete.

Scott Grauer, executive vice president of wealth management for BOK, said that decision will ultimately include Funk’s recommendation and “how we can best serve the market going forward.”

Grauer expects the acquisition to be complete sometime in the fourth quarter of 2013.