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Great Western Bank’s leader announces retirement plans


Great Western Bancorp Inc., the parent company of Great Western Bank, announced that as part of its succession planning, Kenneth Karels, chairperson, president and CEO of both organizations, plans to retire from Great Western effective Oct. 2, 2020. He will continue in those positions until the earlier of his successor’s appointment or the date of his retirement, the Sioux Falls, S.D.-based company said in a news release. Karels has more than 43 years of banking experience, the past 17 of those with Great Western. He has been CEO and on the board since 2010 and was elected chairperson in 2017. Great Western Bank operates 44 branch locations in Iowa. The bank’s assets have increased in the past decade from $5.2 billion in 2009 to $12.7 billion as of Sept. 30, 2019. 

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