Magazine : Archives : 4th Quarter 2022

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...