In between discussions of regulatory expenses and concerns regarding energy-related loans, executives at Zions Bancorp. used a quarterly conference call to bid a public farewell to longtime Chief Financial Officer Doyle Arnold.
Arnold, who has been CFO at the $57.6 billion-asset company for more than a decade, will be retiring soon and Monday's earnings call was his last. Management and analysts alike took time to give him a proper send-off and poke a little fun.
Arnold has "been a great part of the team and a great friend, and we're really going to miss" him, Harris Simmons, Zions' chief executive and chairman, said during the call. "And [we] wish him the very best as he works on his golf game among other things. It needs a lot of work."
Erika Najarian, an analyst with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, joined in the joking by prefacing her question with, "Doyle, good luck in lowering that handicap."
Arnold took over as CFO in 2001 from Dale Gibbons, who left following his involvement in a scandal unrelated to banking. He added the role of vice chairman in 2005. Prior to working at Zions, he was a group executive vice president for corporate strategy and development at Bank of America and also spent time at Wells Fargo and the Treasury Department.
Paul Burdiss, a former SunTrust executive, will take over as CFO. Arnold called Burdiss "a darn quick study" and joked that "it won't be long before some of you will be trying to remember the name of that old CFO who used to work at Zions."
Despite the jovial nature of the farewell, it still seemed bittersweet for Arnold, who became obviously emotional while saying goodbye.
"I'm honored to have been at Zions, excuse me, kind of choking up here," Arnold said during the call. "Plenty of work ahead, but I'm pleased I'm leaving Zions in pretty good shape."
Zions reported Monday that its first-quarter income fell roughly 1%, to $75.3 million, from a year earlier as noninterest income declined.