Great Western announces new CEO

Mark Borrecco

Mark Borrecco has been named the new president and CEO of Great Western Bancorp, Sioux Falls, S.D. He replaces Ken Karels in the role.

Borrecco has more than 20 years of banking experience, most recently as CEO of Rabobank, NA, Roseville, Calif., from November 2015 through its sale to Mechanics Bank in 2019. Prior to that, he was the executive vice president and chief retail banking officer for Rabobank. 

He has served on the Pacific Coast Banking School board and the Greater Sacramento Economic Council. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in economics from California State University, Fresno.

“The board thanks Mr. Karels for his years of service to Great Western. He has contributed greatly to Great Western’s success as we have achieved both record revenue and earnings through his tenure,” said Tom Henning, Great Western’s lead independent director. “We are also excited with the appointment of Mark and look forward to working with him to continue to grow the organization. Mark is a proven leader who brings his strong commercial banking experience and leadership to Great Western.”

Karels, who announced his intention to retire in November, will now transition into a role as special advisor. He will also continue to serve as board chair until October 2, his retirement date.

“It has been a privilege to lead the organization for the past 10 years and through its initial public offering,” Karels said. “I am proud of the organization that we have built and believe Mr. Borrecco is the right person to lead us into the future. We engaged in an extensive search for my successor and with his extensive banking background and leadership experience, Mark should contribute well to the overall growth of the organization.”

Karels has over 43 years of banking experience, 17 of them with Great Western, and has been CEO since 2010.

The $12.8 billion Great Western has more than 170 branches in nine states: Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.

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