Kenneth J. Karels, chairperson, president and CEO of Great Western Bancorp and Great Western Bank, plans to retire from the company effective October 2, 2020.

He will continue to serve as chairperson, president and CEO of Great Western until the earlier of his successor’s appointment or the date of his retirement. Following the appointment of Karels’ successor, he will continue on in advisory capacity to assist in the transition.

Karels, who has over 43 years of banking experience, 17 years with Great Western, has been CEO and on the board since 2010 and was elected chairperson in 2017.

“Ken has been a solid leader for the company, navigating it through its initial public offering in 2014, growth in assets from $5.2 billion in 2009 to over $12.7 billion as of September 30, 2019, as well as year over year net income growth. He has a deep understanding of the markets and his disciplined approach to running the bank has resulted in the significant success we experienced under his leadership,” said Thomas Henning, lead independent director of the board.

Great Western Bank services its customers through more than 170 branches in nine states.