Photo via Google Street View
Written by Gabriel Dillard
Fresno-based Murphy Bank is losing its longtime president and CEO and undergoing a transition in leadership.
President and CEO Mike Falge started with Murphy Bank as a loan officer in 1989, working his way up the ranks until the retirement of founder Charles “Mike” Murphy in 2001, when Falge became president.
Falge has led the bank to record profits each of the last few years, according to a news release. Murphy Bank reported net income of $7.15 million for the most recent quarter that ended Sept. 30., along with total assets of $351.51 million. It has two branches — one in San Luis Obispo and the Fresno headquarters near Fig Garden Village.
Falge said in a statement that Murphy Bank — which was founded in Fresno in 1984 as Sierra Thrift — is in an excellent position to transition to a new chief executive.
The new president and CEO is local banking veteran Steve Jones, who will take the helm of the business and consumer bank when Falge’s retirement becomes effective on Dec. 31.
Jones is a Fresno native who has worked in banking in the region since 2005 when he became took an executive position with Security First Bank, eventually becoming president and CEO. He worked as a CPA before getting his start in banking in 1990.
He most recently worked as executive vice president and chief operating officer of Visalia-based Suncrest Bank, joining the bank in 2016 after its acquisition of Security First Bank. Last month Ontario-based CVB Financial Corp., parent company of Citizens Business Bank, received regulatory approval to acquire Suncrest Bank in a deal worth about $204 million. The acquisition is expected to close Jan. 7, 2022.
Jones is also an expert in the growing financial technology industry, earning a certification in FinTech from Harvard University earlier this year. Among the projects he worked on most recently was expanding Suncrest’s Small Business Administration lending program and Covid relief lending using automation technology.
“He has broad and diversified experience in banking operations, information technology, human resources, business development, risk management, regulatory matters, mergers and acquisitions, finance and accounting,” according to a statement from Falge. “Steve says he is excited to join such an established and successful bank as Murphy Bank. Murphy Bank’s management team and its Board went through extensive interviews with Steve and truly believe he is the perfect fit. With Steve’s enthusiasm and Murphy Bank’s veteran management team, the future for Murphy Bank looks very bright.”