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Stanberry resigns from West Bancorporation


The board of directors of West Bancorporation Inc. accepted the resignation of Tom Stanberry at its regularly scheduled meeting today, the company announced. Stanberry served as chairman, president and CEO of the West Des Moines-based bank holding company, CEO of West Bank and chairman of the board of WB Capital Management Inc. The resignation is effective immediately.

Stanberry will not receive any severance pay because the company is subject to the provisions of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Capital Purchase Program, which place restrictions on executive compensation. Last year West Bancorporation accepted $36 million in government funds from that program. Stanberry’s annual salary was $255,000, according to Reuters.

The board named Jack Wahlig, former national managing partner with McGladrey & Pullen LLP, as chairman of the corporation’s board of directors. He will receive an annual salary of $250,000.

Robert Pulver was tapped as vice chairman of board. David R. Milligan was appointed as interim CEO of West Bancorporation and interim CEO and chairman of West Bank. Milligan worked for West Bank for 26 years and served in many leadership capacities. He retired as CEO and chairman of West Bank in 2004, and has continued to serve as a member of the bank’s board of directors.

All appointments are effective immediately.

“Our collective focus is to return to profitability and increase shareholder value,” Wahlig said in a press release. “We are a well-capitalized, independent community bank. We have a 116-year tradition of serving Iowans and our focus is to remain a trusted financial partner.”

The board announced a preliminary loss of $5.3 million for the second quarter of 2009 and that no dividend will be paid to common stock shareholders. This anticipated loss is primarily the result of taking a provision for loan losses of $15 million at West Bank. Net loans charged off during the quarter totaled $9.4 million.

“The continued stress on the local and national economy has impacted some of our commercial customers,” said Wahlig. “As a community bank we reflect both the successes and struggles of our community.”

Market volatility and below-normal earnings have combined to cause the price of the company’s common stock to drop below its book value, the company said. It has hired a third-party valuation firm to assist management in determining whether or not goodwill has been impaired, and if so to what extent. If it is determined goodwill has been impaired, the loss for the second quarter will be increased. As of June 30, West Bancorporation had goodwill totaling $25 million. However, any goodwill impairment is a non-cash charge and would not impact regulatory capital.

Stanberry had led West Bancorporation since 2003, when he succeeded David Miller as chairman and chief executive. A native of Indianapolis, Stanberry received a law degree from Drake University in 1979 and was a partner at the Des Moines law firm of Ahlers & Cooney P.C. Prior to joining West Bank, he was a managing director and senior investment banker at U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray.

The search for a new CEO will begin immediately. The board anticipates a new leader in place by the end of the year.

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