Heartland taps industry veteran to lead Wisconsin bank

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Heartland Financial USA in Dubuque, Iowa, has hired a veteran banker to run its Wisconsin operations.

The $13.3 billion-asset multibank holding company said in a press release Wednesday that Brent Giles, who served the last 16 years as chairman, president and CEO of Liberty Bancorp in Kansas City, Mo., will become president and CEO of Wisconsin Bank & Trust in Madison on May 22.

Liberty was sold to the $15 billion-asset Central Bancompany in August for a $103.7 million. Before joining Liberty, Giles was president of Lawson Bank in Missouri.

Under Giles’ leadership, Liberty grew from assets of $189 million in September 2003 to about $540 million at the time of its sale, and it bought Lawson Bank in 2018.

“We are fortunate to have Brent Giles take the helm at Wisconsin Bank & Trust,” Steve Ward, Heartland's Midwest regional president, said in the release.

Giles got his start in banking at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., where he was a bank examiner from 1989 to 1998.

Giles also serves as a director at the $223 million-asset Keystone Bank in Austin, Texas. Giles and Jeff Wilkinson, Keystone’s chairman and CEO, were high school classmates in Kansas City.

“Brent was part of the founding group” at Keystone, Wilkinson said in an interview Thursday. “He’s an outstanding banker. Wisconsin Bank & Trust is lucky to be getting him.”

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