Spending More to Survive

Laura Merling isn’t your typical banker. The former Google executive joined $26.6 billion Arvest Bank Group in February 2022 as chief transformation and operations officer, tasked with leading a multi-year digital transformation initiative at the bank. She’s worked at an array of companies, including Ford Motor Co. and AT&T. Bentonville, Arkansas-based Arvest Bank is primarily owned by the Walton family – yes, those Waltons, the Walmart heirs with an estimated $200 billion combined net worth; Jim Walton serves as the bank’s chair. Merling says she was drawn to the bank’s willingness to commit resources to its transformation, along with her…

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Emily McCormick

Vice President of Editorial & Research

Emily McCormick is Vice President of Editorial & Research for Bank Director. Emily oversees research projects, from in-depth reports to Bank Director’s annual surveys on M&A, risk, compensation, governance and technology. She also manages content for the Bank Services Program. In addition to regularly speaking and moderating discussions at Bank Director’s in-person and virtual events, Emily regularly writes and edits for Bank Director magazine and BankDirector.com. She started her career in the circulation department at the Knoxville News-Sentinel, and graduated summa cum laude from The University of Tennessee with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and International Business.

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