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First Interstate BancSystem has long been a regular acquirer, closing eight deals since 2014, but the Billings, Montana-based company is taking a bit of a breather this year. In 2022, First Interstate closed on and integrated its largest deal to date, for Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based Great Western Bancorp, adding $13 billion to its balance sheet and 170 branches to its network. While $31.3 billion First Interstate is a seasoned acquirer, CEO Kevin Riley says pursuing another acquisition straightaway is not a priority in 2023. “We have to prove to our shareholders that we’ve got [Great Western] integrated, we’re producing…

Laura Alix

Director of Research

Laura Alix is the Director of Research at Bank Director, where she collaborates on in-depth strategic research for bank directors and senior executives, including Bank Director’s annual surveys. She also writes for BankDirector.com and edits online video content. Laura is particularly interested in workforce recruitment and retention strategies, and environmental, social and governance issues facing the banking industry. Previously, she covered national and regional banks for American Banker, and before that, she covered community banks for Banker & Tradesman and The Commercial Record. Based in Boston, she has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut and a master’s degree from CUNY Brooklyn College. You can follow her on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn.


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