Providence Bank in Columbia, Mo., has brought in a new chief executive to oversee the clean-up of its loan portfolio and guide it through its next phase of growth.

Kit Stolen 3rd took over as Providence's CEO last week, replacing Brett Burri, who was shifted into a new role as president of the bank's Columbia market. Stolen, 56, has 30 years of banking experience, most recently serving as president and chief operating officer at Salin Bank & Trust Co. in Indianapolis.

Providence has $677 million of assets with 12 branches in Missouri and one in Texas. The management change was first reported by the Columbia Daily Tribune.

Providence's balance sheet was largely free of problem loans until the bank acquired the failed Premier Bank of Jefferson City, Mo., in late 2010. The deal nearly quintupled Providence's assets at the time and moved the bank into some more vibrant markets, but it also increased its level of loans at least 90 days past due from less than 1% of assets to nearly 17%. By Sept. 30 of this year, the ratio of noncurrent loans to assets had swelled to nearly 20%, according to Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. data.

In an interview with the Daily Tribune last week, Storen said that the current loan woes won't prevent the bank from pursuing growth.

Most of the loan losses are covered by loss-sharing agreements with the FDIC and Providence, which is largely owned by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. heirs Nancy Walton Laurie and Bill Laurie, remains well capitalized.

Stolen also said that the existing management team is also very skilled at working out problem loans.

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