Bank of the Ozarks (OZRK) in Little Rock, Ark., is planning to open a loan production office in New York.

The $4 billion-asset company said late Monday that the office, which will open on Friday, will serve as an extension of its real estate specialties group that is based in Dallas. The group focuses on originating and servicing loans collateralized by various types of commercial real estate. Bank of the Ozarks has similar offices in Austin, Texas, and Atlanta.

The company that Richard Smith, an executive vice president who joined its Dallas office last month, will lead the New York expansion.

"On many of the Real Estate Specialties Group's transactions, the equity dollars, subordinated debt or mezzanine financing comes from New York sources," Dan Thomas, the company's vice chairman and chief lending officer, said in the release. "As we've worked with these sources over the years, it became apparent that having staff on the ground in New York would allow us to better serve our existing relationships and capitalize on future business opportunities."

Bank of the Ozarks has also expanded across the Southeast in recent years with traditional and failed-bank acquisitions.

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