Inside Financial Services

A Great Banker Retires

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In an era when bankers are too often vilified as evil or incompetent, it’s worth taking a moment to point out that an awful lot of bankers aren’t that, at all, and instead are great managers, great people, and credits to their communities. One such banker is Ed Garding, CEO of First Interstate Bank, who announced last month he’s retiring from First Interstate after 44 years there.

There’s nothing flashy about Ed—or the bank he runs, for that matter. That’s meant as a compliment: when much of the rest of the banking industry stared into the abyss during the credit crunch, First Interstate barely missed a beat. That’s in large part because of the solid, prudent management culture there that Ed played a large part in molding, and then carried on as CEO. It’s fair to say that if every bank were run as well as First Interstate, there never would have been a crackup in the first place.

Good luck to Ed in retirement. He will be missed. The banking industry is losing one of its most rock-solid citizens.

What do you think? Let me know!

8 Responses to “A Great Banker Retires”

  1. Avatar Al Dominick

    Tom, you are so very right. Ed really impressed me earlier this year as we prepared for our “L. William Seidman CEO Panel” at Acquire or Be Acquired. Just as Bill was a huge advocate of a strong and healthy community bank system, Ed’s commitment to his team, clients and community was so very evident. While I only spent a small amount of time with Ed in Arizona, his wit and wisdom made quite the impression.

    • Avatar Dayana

      I think youve created some aclaltuy interesting points. Not too many people would basically think about this the way you just did. Im genuinely impressed that theres so much about this topic thats been uncovered and you did it so properly, with so a lot class. Very good one you, man! Seriously good stuff right here.

  2. Avatar Dylan

    Thank you for highlighting the leaders in the industry who do it the right way. It sounds like Ed was a man of integrity and conservative management practices. From what you describes, he reminds me of my former CEO at M&T Bank, Bob Wilmers. Mr. Wilmers always led with integrity and expected the same from his employees (read his article in American Banker on 6/29). The result is one of the best run banks in the US that has outperformed the industry over the 30 years he has been at the helm. It just proves that successful bankers have character and does what’s best for their customers and the communities they serve, not their incentive plans. Hopefully the industry will one day return to that mantra and reestablish its once well deserved reputation!

    • Avatar Jason

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  3. Avatar Ed Garding

    Tom, you must have the wrong guy. Becky and I are trying to figure out who this “gentleman” is. Seriously, I am blushing, and thank you for the nice comments. In spite of all the negative press, regulations, etc., I would recommend a career in banking to anyone. Ed

    • Avatar Ezgi

      The Concordia Lutheran Church Men’s Club will once again be selling Christmas trees and wraeths this year. The tree lot is located at the Church-School, 4245 Lake Avenue. Christmas tree sales will begin on Friday, November 23rd. The lot will be open 12:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily, except Saturday mornings, when it opens at 9:00 a.m. The proceeds from this fund raiser are used to support various projects and functions of the Concordia Church and school. A selection can be made from Scotch Pine, White Pine, Douglas Fir, Fraser Fir, and Blue Spruce. These trees were just cut a couple of weeks ago. Please come see how fresh they are. Decorated and undecorated wraeths are also available. Your patronage would be greatly appreciated.

  4. Avatar Tawnya Schoolitz

    I was lucky enough to join First Interstate 7 months ago and one of the things that drew me to the company was getting to meet Ed in my interview process. I was impressed with his down to earth demeanor and clarity of vision for the bank. This article is spot on.

  5. Avatar Rossi

    I think youve created some altcaluy interesting points. Not too many people would basically think about this the way you just did. Im genuinely impressed that theres so much about this topic thats been uncovered and you did it so properly, with so a lot class. Very good one you, man! Seriously good stuff right here.

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