It’s the Company We Keep

Future Facility—A rendering of Stockman Bank’s office to open in Missoula, Mont., in the fall of 2017.
Future Facility—A rendering of Stockman Bank’s office to open in Missoula, Mont., in the fall of 2017.

By Wm. Coffee

Stockman Bank
Miles City, Mont.
ROAA in 2015: 1.89 percent
ROAE in 2015: 20.19 percent
Assets: $3.2 billion
Retail locations: 34
Employees: 670
Founded: 1953

A strong, successful company is nothing without its customers, its employees and its communities. It is the company that Stockman Bank keeps, in all regards, that makes us strong, successful and poised for the future.

Several years ago I received a call from a national banking expert, who is a recognized name in banking for providing guidance, expertise and information. The expert asked how Stockman Bank manages to be so dynamic and successful in a time when many financial institutions are struggling. I stated first and foremost it’s because our community bank exclusively serves Montana and its surrounding border areas. Our customers embrace the Western work ethic and way of life, and abide by the code of the West. The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well here.

The expert said that in all his decades of analyzing banks he had never heard a banker credit the character of his customers as the reason for his or her bank’s success. He went on to say, “You have opened my eyes to the major importance that the character and values of your customers have upon the bank’s long-term success and hence its ability to serve the community.”

I said it is all about values and explained that our employees are cut from the same cloth as our customers. They are dedicated, hardworking and loyal with a strong bond of teamwork and a deep understanding of what it means to be part of a community. Most everyone at Stockman Bank grew up here and many were raised with an agricultural background. They truly care about their customers. They are empowered to do the right thing and possess the integrity to properly exercise their power. The expert was impressed with Stockman Bank and our unique organization.

The communities and vast agricultural areas our community bank serves have a pioneering spirit and are tightknit. They work together for a greater good. They are optimistic about a brighter future for all. This strong sense of community is the foundation for making Stockman Bank the best of the best.

Wm. Coffee is CEO of Stockman Bank.